July 31, 2011

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Congratulations to the winners and all participants. And as for the rest of you -- get reading!

|| Greg, 09:18 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 30, 2011

Bipartisan Compromise, Democrat-Style

From the mouth of Harry Reid.

Moments before being summoned to the White House this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declared that his bill is still the only game in town, even as it was being voted down by the House of Representatives.

Got that -- Reid has adopted the "my way or the highway" approach to the debt ceiling. Funny, isn't that what Obama, the DNC, and the liberal press have accused the GOP of doing?

I repeat -- give the Donks what they want, and then make the stark difference on our out-of-control spending the cornerstone of the2012 election strategy, and the 2012 election a referendum on the two approaches.

Of course, we know why Obama's debt ceiling plan is not a consideration at this time.


|| Greg, 06:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Tweet Of The Day

Given the many examples of this stuff I pointed to the other day, this tweet from Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller.

H/T Legal Insurrection

I'm still asking: When will the Dems go all Joe McCarthy on us?

And when will we begin asking this famous question of every liberal who uses such McCarthyesque rhetoric towards we who dissent from their polity preferences?

|| Greg, 09:34 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

UN Body Gets One Right On Freedom Of Expression & Religion


And in the process slaps down the Islamic supremacists who want to make it a crime against humanity to criticize Islam or draw a picture of Muhammad.

The UN's Human Rights Committee said on Thursday that freedom of expression was a "meta-right" underpinning all human rights everywhere.

A long-awaited document from the panel of 18 jurists alsao said that freedom of opinion, and by extension religion, should not be restricted under any circumstances and warned governments that did so they would be violating a basic UN accord.

The independent experts, set out their trenchant stance in a "general comment" on how parts of the UN's Covenant on Civil and Political Rights should be interpreted and applied.

The comment, committee vice-chairman Michael O'Flaherty, told a media conference, "is a strong reaffirmation of the central importance for all human rights of the freedom of expression", even of giving views some see as deeply offensive.

Islamic groups -- especially the OIC -- have been trying to get the UN to adopt proposals that would amount to an international ban on speaking ill of Islam or offending its tenets. This makes it really clear that there is no right not to be offended -- even if you are a Muslim.


|| Greg, 02:38 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (417) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama's Plan For Reducing Illegal Immigrants Is Working

Who would have thought that a guy who never held a real job in his life would come up with such a fiendishly clever solution to the problem of illegal aliens streaming into this country.

There are fewer undocumented immigrants in California and the Sacramento region because many are now finding the American dream south of the border.

Its now easier to buy homes on credit, find a job and access higher education in Mexico, Sacramentos Mexican consul general, Carlos Gonzlez Gutirrez, said Wednesday. We have become a middle-class country.

Mexicos unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent, compared with 9.4 percent joblessness in the United States.

See -- all Obama had to do was make America suck more than Mexico. So don't complain that Barry Hussein's policies are making the nation's economy go down the toilet -- thank him for making the illegals leave!

Of course that means that soon your children will have to sneak into Mexico looking for work...

|| Greg, 02:19 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

White House Leadership On Debt Ceiling On Display

I guess it is fair to say that this makes Obama "The Man With No Plan"!


Many thanks to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez, and the guys at GayPatriot for this visual memorial to the efforts of Dear Leader Obama on the Debt Ceiling.

|| Greg, 01:58 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 29, 2011

Democrats Take Ownership Of US Default

Both Barack Obama and the Democrats in the Senate now own this after rejecting yet another GOP plan to deal with the debt ceiling/spending crisis.

First, here's the contribution of Barry Hussein.

The president was adamant that the Speakers plan has no viable future. The House of Representatives is still trying to pass a bill that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won't vote for. It's a plan that would force us to relive this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again. In other words, it does not solve the problem, and it has no chance of becoming law, Obama said.

The unicorn-riding demigod has not, of course, put forward his own plan for solving this matter -- indicating his complete lack of leadership on the issue and repeated rejections of the views of the GOP majority in the House. His actions have been obstructionist, not constructive.

And then there is the Democrat-controlled Senate, which took ownership of the impending default tonight.

The United States Senate quickly dispatched the debt ceiling bill passed by the House Friday evening, tabling the Republican bill indefinitely and moving quickly to start consideration of a Democratic plan that would avoid default on Tuesday.

Less than two hours after House Speaker John A. Boehner pushed his bill through the House over the strenuous objections of nearly two dozen of his own Republican members, the Democratic leadership in the Senate followed through on their promise to kill his legislation.

In other words, the only acceptable plan will be a Democrat plan, not one which is truly bipartisan.

My suggestion, once again, is for the GOP to let Obama and the Democrats have what they want -- and then run against it hard, making the 2012 election a referendum on whether we will have a responsible spending program that cuts deficits and debt or a continuation of the spend-it-all-and-then-some policies of the Democrats.

|| Greg, 06:54 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Great Example Of Why We Need To Eliminate The "Race" Box From Government Forms

Rarely are there sufficient inclusive boxes on government forms.

What business is it of government to make a classification of citizens this way?

What business is it of anybody how a person classifies himself/herself?

What box should Gov. Nikki Haley check when it comes to her race?

The South Carolina Democratic Party tried Thursday to make Haley out as a liar for checking "white" as her race on her 2001 Lexington County voter registration application.

But the application had no specific option for "Indian." Her options were "white, black/African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American or other."

The governor stayed silent on the matter, although her allies accused the Democrats of the lowest-grade politics: race-baiting. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has never emphasized herself as South Carolina's first female and minority governor and the country's second Indian-American governor, but it has earned enormous national notoriety.

Now let's take a look at Nikki Haley.


OK, folks -- how would YOU classify her? How would you classify her if you did not know her parents were immigrants from India? And given that at least part of the Indian population may be broadly classified as Caucasian (which would appear to include Haley's ancestors), is the choice of "white" an inappropriate one for her to make.

But the bigger question, of course, is why is it anybody's business what box Haley checks? Does it impact her eligibility for the office? Her competence for that office? Or does it simply provide fodder for the race-baiters of the Left to engage in one more attack on a woman who refuses to fall into line with their agenda?

A few years ago, Chief Justice Roberts noted that ""The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." This illustrates the truth of that observation -- and the reality that we will put an end to racial division and separatism in this country by ceasing to insist upon government-mandated racial balkanization of the citizenry, no matter ow well-intentioned the racial classification scheme may be. Let us follow the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. instead -- judging people not by the color of their skins, but instead by the content of their respective characters. And we certainly should be making no judgements of individuals based upon what racial box they check on a government form -- instead we should ask about the legitimacy of government even making the inquiry in the first place.

And if anyone insists on a "race" box on a form, give them two choices -- "human" and "other".

|| Greg, 02:45 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Jihadi GI Gives Shout-Out To Fort Hood Shooter!

Nasser Abdo, the AWOL kiddie-porn jihadi who planned to kill his fellow American soldiers because his oh-so-sensitive Islamic conscience wouldn't let his fight his fellow Muslims, made it clear where he got his inspiration for his plot. He gave a big shot out to the perpetrator of the original jihadi who killed fellow soldiers at Fort Hood.

Abdo, who had requested conscientious objector status because his Muslim beliefs prevented him from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, refused to stand up when asked to in court. As he left the room, he yelled: "Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009."

Hasan, an Army major, is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation.

Too bad the Kiddie-Porn Jihadi won't get a date with a firing squad for his treason.

UPDATE: This comes from the Kiddie-Porn Jihadi's Facebook profile.

Laa, lan ushaariku fi qatli al-muslimiin
Which, in English, is:
"No, I will not take part in the killing of Muslims"

But he is apparently more than willing to kill his fellow Americans -- in particular his fellow soldiers.

|| Greg, 12:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

NYT Tries To Manufacture Perry Health Crisis

People have spinal fusion surgery every day in this country with no ill effects. You probably know a few -- though you might not realize it, because they tend to live utterly normal lives after the surgery. I'm willing to bet there are even a few in the New York Times newsroom -- which is why the article on Texas Governor Rick Perry's back surgery earlier four weeks ago is such an utterly absurd effort to make something out of nothing.

Take this bit of silliness.

Last week, as he met with reporters after a bill-signing ceremony, many took note of a surprising change in his wardrobe: He was wearing orthopedic-style black tennis shoes with thick soles instead of his usual cowboy boots. Mr. Perry, a former cotton farmer and state agriculture commissioner, has rarely been seen around the Texas Capitol in anything but cowboy boots, and as reporters also noticed that the governor appeared to be wearing a back brace, speculation grew that he was having trouble recuperating.

Imagine that -- in the recuperation period following back surgery Rick Perry has had to wear different shoes and a back brace. That's all you've got? Really? At least the somewhat overblown Michelle Bachmann migraine story raised the issue of actual incapacitation during a time of crisis. After all, it isn't like JFK didn't prove that a bad back did not render one incapable of doing the job of President. Heck, even if one took a worst-case scenario regarding Perry's back problem, that the surgery didn't solve the problem and he was ultimately required to use a wheelchair as the spinal condition degenerated, we come back to the fact that even a man unable to walk is more than capable of doing a creditable job in the Oval Office -- I seem to recall that FDR did OK managing the Great Depression and WWII while suffering from the effects of polio.

What next? Will we be treated to daily a daily "Perry Footwear Watch" by the liberal media as they attempt to take down Rick Perry's candidacy for president?

|| Greg, 03:41 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 28, 2011

Muslim Soldiers Arrested In Terror Plot

Looking to take out fellow soldiers at Fort Hood -- just like jihadi shrink Major Nidal Hasan

At least one U.S. military serviceman has been arrested after raising concerns over another alleged plot to attack Fort Hood, Fox News has learned exclusively.

Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there. Authorities, however, will not say if Abdo is the one who raised security concerns.

* * *

Another source told Fox News that two other U.S. soldiers also raised possible concerns.

It remains unclear if any possible second plot to attack Ft. Hood was merely aspirational in nature.

I love that -- "merely aspirational in nature." Does it really matter how close this plot was to fruition? Would it really be less disturbing if these soldiers merely "aspired" to commit a terrorist attack? After all, these guys have taken the following oath.

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Whether or not the attack was imminent or "merely aspirational", they have clearly broken this oath by becoming enemies of the United States and betraying the "true faith and allegiance" they have sworn to the US Constitution.

Will the media take note of the pattern of terrorist plots and attacks against military targets?

Two days ago, I noted the little-noted sentencing of Little Rock jihadist Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who killed 24-year-old Private William Long and gravely wounded 18-year-old Private Quinton Ezeagwula at a recruiting center in a bloody shooting spree targeting our military on American soil. Muhammad got life without parole.

Accused Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan still awaits his court martial scheduled for next March and still maintains his rank and salary while the wheels of justice grind slowly.

In June, the FBI exposed a Seattle jihadi plot against the military with two Muslim avengers who compared themselves to Hasan.

And also in June, the feds arrested Muslim Marine reservist Jonathan Melaku in an attempted Pentagon bombing. He was also tied through ballistics to a series of Beltway-area military building target shootings.

And that does not include the Fort Dix Six plot.

But we continue to be told that Islam is the Religion of Peace and that there is really no reason to look more closely at Muslims when it comes to terrorist involvement. After all, that would be racist, Islamophobic, and unreasonable profiling. So just ignore this, and pay attention to what the media says is really important.


After all, we know from whence the real threat comes -- right?

UPDATE: The Volokh Conspiracy sums Nasser Abdo quite well:

That seems to be the story of Naser Abdo, who has been in the news much more than the average private. See Devout Muslim Soldier Hopes to Avoid Deployment to Afghanistan (ABC News, Aug. 31, 2010), [Abdo was] charged with child pornography after 34 images were found on his government issued computer (Leaf Chronicle (Tenn.), June 15, 2011), The Army says a Muslim soldier from Fort Campbell who won conscientious objector status but then was charged with possessing child pornography has gone AWOL (AP, July 20, 2011), FBI: AWOL soldier had bomb materials near Ft. Hood (AP, July 28, 2011); UPDATE: Fort Hood Plot: AWOL Soldier Planned Dual Bombing, Shooting, Officials Say (ABC News, July 28, 2011).

Just incredible.

|| Greg, 09:35 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Reconsitute HUAC And Permanent Subcommitte On Investigations As They Existed In The 1950s

You may have noticed a theme to yesterday's blog series of posts. Time and again, over a 24-hour period, Democrats have accused the Republican Party of extremism, terrorism, and plotting against the best interests of the United States. Such charges call into question the patriotism of American citizens who are associated with the GOP, the Tea Party, and certain other organizations -- and raise the quite serious issue of whether or not these are subversive, unAmerican organizations and individuals, and whether other Americans -- including elected officials -- are fellow travelers who are actively cooperating with those who the Democrats charge are trying to harm America.

Historically, Congress has taken an active role in rooting out such plots and plotters, and has worked diligently to expose the individuals and organizations involved in efforts to harm America. If Democrats truly believe this, it is time for the revival of the tools historically used to implement this great patriotic work -- the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Now bringing back HUAC may be difficult -- after all, it was abolished in 1975 and it would be difficult for Democrats to revive in a GOP-controlled House of Representatives for purposes of permitting the minority party to investigate the activities of the majority party, its organized allies and the constituencies that brought the majority to power. But the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations still exists today in the Democrat-controlled Senate -- though it has focused more on the financial sector in recent years rather than rooting out dangerous political actors as it did in the days of Joe McCarthy. Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats should therefore return its focus to the glory days of the Red Scare and the blacklist -- rooting out dangerous political dissenters whose ideology and activities are viewed as a threat to America's best interests.

Jus timagine the hearings. We would see Sarah Palin being grilled by the likes of Carl Levin, Claire McCaskill, Mary Landrieu and the rest of the subcommittee's Democrat members over her use of targets in a graphic on her website -- and who knows, maybe they can subpoena her medical records and those of her daughter to finally determine whose child Trig really is. Various Tea Party leaders could be questioned regarding their activities. Imagine the efforts of the committee to determine whether or not Fox News constituted a threat to the security of the United States. Perhaps the Democrats could even make a play to force Clarence Thomas off the Supreme Court by branding his wife's activities a threat to America and suggesting that he is a fellow traveler in her unAmerican activities. The informal blacklist of Hollywood conservatives could be made official, complete with the imprimatur of the oldest subcommittee in the US Senate. And folks like me, average Americans who dare to publicly dissent from Obama Administration policies could be summoned to Washington and, under oath, be forced to answer the question "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Tea Party or any Tea Party front organization?"

And to those who find my proposal here a bit absurd, I ask the following question -- is this satirical post any more absurd than the rhetoric daily lobbed at conservatives by the Democrats in which they accuse their fellow citizens with different policy outlooks of being terrorists who are seeking to destroy our nation for political advantage? And if you truly believe in the new civility that liberals demanded become the new norm in the wake of the shooting of Gabby Giffords and others by a madman in Tucson, why are you not flinging at the Democrats making such outrageous claims the devastating question directed at Senator McCarthy when he chaired the Subcommittee on Investigations?

|| Greg, 08:29 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

REPOST: A Counter-Intuitive Approach To The Debt Ceiling/Deficit Issue

A few weeks ago, I made the following proposal for dealing with the debt ceiling, tax rates, the budget, and other financial issues about three weeks ago, having already become disgusted with the already obvious duplicity of the Democrats on the matter of the financial health of the United States. In light of the repeated refusal of Senate Democrats to go along with measures passed or proposed by the Republican House, threats by the Obama Regime to veto any GOP plan that does make it through the Senate, constant demands for GOP "compromise", the constant threats of a voluntary default of Obama's choosing, and the threat of a Constitutional crisis in the event that Obama follows the Fourteenth Amendment Solution proposed by any number of liberals, I'd like to again put forward my earlier proposal for a strategic retreat that will allow the 2012 election to offer the American people a choice, not an echo.

* * *

Lets face it Republicans control only the House of Representatives. We do not control the Senate, and we do not control the White House. While we might like to avoid a significant increase of the debt ceiling, force a decrease in the deficit, and avoid a tax increase, we really lack the power to do so without cooperation from Obama and the Senate Democrats. Unless a solution acceptable to the Democrats is reached, the negative consequences will be ascribed by the media to GOP intransigence and extremism, not the spendthrift ways of Obama and the Democrats. And perhaps most distressing is the prospect of Obama and Geithner attempting to implement the so-called Fourteenth Amendment Solution, whereby they would use a spurious interpretation of the fourth clause of that amendment to grant the Executive Branch unlimitable borrowing authority because Senate Democrats will not vote to remove Obama and Geithner when they are impeached, effectively ratifying that approach and thereby taking powers conferred on Congress by Article I of the Constitution and placing them in the hands of the Executive Branch instead. We therefore need a creative solution to this situation and I think Ive got one.

Now not all of my approach is original. Indeed, it is inspired in part by William Teach of RightWingNews and Pirates Cove. It is also a reaction against the be prepared to shoot the hostage proposal of Erick Erickson, a guy I respect but whose approach in this case I find counterproductive. The approach is simple, really pass what I call the Hope & Change Act, and make 2012 a referendum on the two stark visions of America.

What would the Hope & Change Act do? Several things. First, it would include no budget or deficit cuts at all. After all, Obama and the Democrats tell us that America needs every bit of this spending, and who are we Republicans to contradict them? They tell us that this spending is good for the economy and that the current Administration is made up of the best and brightest that America has to offer, so who are we buck-toothed, in-bred, ignorant teabagging Taliban Republicans to take issue with the policy prescriptions they are making? So lets let them have their spending spree, and let the results demonstrate whether they were correct or not.

This will, of course, require that the Hope & Change Act include an increase in the debt ceiling to accommodate the ongoing spending spree an increase large enough to get us through July 1, 2013. I wont propose a number because Im not conversant in the exact dollar figure this would require. But since the suggestion has been bandied about that we need at least a $2 trillion dollar increase, and Obama is now apparently proposing an increase in the debt ceiling of $4 trillion, Im sure that it would be somewhere in that range. Whatever Barry wants, Barry gets this is the Hope & Change Act, after all.

Now here is the last element of the proposal we dont limit ourselves to just closing some tax loopholes like Eric Cantor and others have been suggesting. No, in the Hope & Change Act we need to give the Democrats what they have been asking for -- the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Scratch that we need to roll back all the entire tax code to the status quo at the start of the final full year of the Clinton Administration on January 1, 2000. Not just income taxes capital gains taxes, corporate taxes, etc. Democrats tell us that these higher tax rates will bring in more revenue to the government and help stimulate the economy. Now that means that the rich who got tax breaks will have their taxes go up but it also means that millions of Americans who pay no income taxes because of the Bush tax cuts for the rich will also begin paying them again. But we are told by the Left that our tax system was fairer before Bush messed with it, so we simply need to go back to what we had before.

Having passed the Hope & Change Act, Barack Obama and the Democrats will have their preferred budget and spending policies in place. Taxes will be higher, government spending will be higher, and government debt will be higher. They will have to run on those policies, because they are the policies that they have been advocating. And while the GOP will have had to acquiesce in the passage of the Hope & Change Act call it an act of bipartisanship, given that medias definition of bipartisanship is Republicans giving the Democrats everything that they want the leadership and the rank-and-file in Congress (as well as the presidential candidates) will make it clear that they oppose the policies contained in the Hope & Change Act, and will make these policies a campaign issue in 2012. The Republicans could then offer a starkly competing vision the tax-cutting, deficit-eliminating, debt reducing sort of vision put forth by Paul Ryan and others as the partys one and only issue while Obama, every House Democrat, and 23 Senate Democrat caucus members are up for reelection (yes, I know there will be retirements) and shackled to the provisions of the Hope & Change Act. It will, in effect, be a referendum that decides whether America wants responsible taxing and spending policies that put the republics financial house in order, or whether we wish to continue the descent from economic superpower to the Western Hemispheres equivalent of Greece and Portugal. It will be, to wax Goldwateresque, an election in which the voters are offered a choice, not an echo.

Drastic? You bet. Daring? Sure. But it might just be the nasty-tasting medicine that America needs right now.

|| Greg, 07:52 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 27, 2011

Dem Party Leader Accuses GOP Of Trying To Impose Dictatorship

This lady is a perfect example of the "new civility" of the Democrats.

Oh, wait -- that's no lady. That's Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Syphilis Test).

Arent we at the point where the closer we get to chaos, the more concern that there should be about coming to the table and compromising with Democrats? Wasserman Schultz asked. This is not leadership. This is almost like dictatorship. I know they want to force the outcome that their extremists would like to impose. But they are getting ready to spark panic and chaos, and they seem to be OK with that. And its just really disappointing, and potentially devastating.

Hey, Debbie! Where is the House Democrat budget plan? Where is the House Democrat debt ceiling plan? Oh, that's right -- House Democrats have neither while the GOP has put forward any number of plans for both. It therefore seems to me quite obvious which party is ready to bargain and which party is petulantly folding its collective arms and shouting "NO!" -- and trying to use the impending crisis for partisan political purposes. And that party has a jackass as its symbol -- and one for its national leader, too.

|| Greg, 05:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

This Tax-Cheating, Race-Baiting Left-Wing Demagogue Dares To Question OUR Patriotism?

Remember when dissent was patriotic and questioning whether or not dissenters loved America was considered the height of un-Americanism? I guess Charlie Rangel has forgotten those heady days of 2002 and 2003 when that was standard liberal-speak.

But then again, back then it was Lefties giving aid and comfort to America's enemies during time of war -- today it's folks daring to urge spending cuts rather than tax increases to deal with the bloated budget and ever-expanding national debt.

Did you catch this?

These people dont care about our country.

In other words, Republicans -- especially conservative Republicans who do not support more deficit spending, more accumulation of debt, and higher taxes -- are not good Americans -- they are unpatriotic and un-American, not just wrong. I guess this SOB with a history of multiple actions that violate Congressional ethics rules and statutory law -- including failure to pay the taxes he already owes -- believes he gets to decide who the good Americans are. So much for that new civility -- or even the old rules that liberals have insisted apply to them.

|| Greg, 04:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (15) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dem Leader Condemns Movie By Dem Activist

After all, Ben Affleck has a long record of Left-wing & Democrat activism -- including campaigning for every Democrat presidential nominee since 2000.

If the movie is so unacceptably violent and prone to promoting political extremism, then perhaps Senator Schumer would advocate the banning of "The Town" -- perhaps beginning a new era of politically-inspired black-listing of movies and performers. And if he can't or won't bring himself to support such a blacklist, does he really have any legitimate basis for criticizing the GOP for using that brief scene?

|| Greg, 03:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

NYT Columnist Calls Tea Party Conservatives Equivalent Of Hezbollah

Because equating policy differences to terrorism is the height of the new civility in the eyes of NYT columnist Thomas Friedman.

Alas, that is the Tea Party. It is so lacking in any aspiration for American greatness, so dominated by the narrowest visions for our country and so ignorant of the fact that it was not tax cuts that made America great but our unique public-private partnerships across the generations. If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission. No American politician was more allergic to debt or taxes than Thomas Jefferson, but he also appreciated the need to have the resources to make the Louisiana Purchase and insisted that on his tombstone it be written that he founded the University of Virginia.

So much for the idea that we should tone down our rhetoric to reasonable levels, that dissent from the policies of the president is patriotic, and that questioning the patriotism of one's opponents is itself unpatriotic.

Then again, this is the guy who argues in favor of remaking America's political and economic systems along the lines of those found in Red China -- but somehow he's the arbiter of what it means to be a good American.

|| Greg, 09:17 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dem Leader Accues GOP Of Wanting To Murder Obama

Wanna bet there are no apologies by Steny Hoyer for this irresponsible comment, no distance put between the #2 Democrat in the House and the rest of the Democrat caucus, and certainly no calls by liberals for Hoyer to either moderate his extreme rhetoric or to resign from Congress entirely.

I think were playing Russian roulette with the nations credit-worthiness. Unfortunately, all the chambers seem to be loaded on the House side. They want to shoot every bullet they have at the president.

Shameful. Utterly shameful. And typical of the "new civility" the Democrats have been trying to impose on political dialogue in this country.

|| Greg, 08:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 26, 2011

Free Speech By Americans Responsible For Norway Horror?

We knew it would happen -- various figures in the media and elsewhere would start finding a way to not merely connect conservative and anti-Islamist voices to the Norway Horror, but also assign responsibility for Anders Behring Breivik and his crimes to those espousing "far-right", "anti-immigrant" and "anti-Islamic" views. Take these examples.

On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik "seemed to be heavily influenced by some people in this country who write and blog about the perceived threat from Islam."
With a post entitled "When Christianity becomes lethal," liberal theologian and Center for American Progress senior fellow Susan Brooks Thislethwaite took to the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog yesterday to indict conservative Christian theology as a catalyst for the terror espoused by Norwegian bomber/shooter Anders Behring Breivik:
Breiviks chosen targets were political in nature, emblematic of his hatred of multiculturalism and left-wing political ideology. This does not mean that the Christian element in his ultra-nationalist views is irrelevant. The religious and political views in right-wing ideologies are mutually reinforcing, and ignoring or dismissing the role played by certain kinds of Christian theology in such extremism is distorting.
The man accused of the killing spree in Norway was deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers and writers who have warned for years about the threat from Islam, lacing his 1,500-page manifesto with quotations from them, as well as copying multiple passages from the tract of the Unabomber.
The Norwegian terrorist who murdered more than ninety innocent civilians many of whom were teenagers did not act alone. Or rather, he acted within a cultural and political context that legitimises his fearful and hate-infested worldview. It is now clear that Anders Behring Breivik was exposed to large amounts of right-wing propaganda. This tragedy underlines the urgency with which normal people around the world must combat fundamentalist nationalists and chauvinists wherever they may be. But it also demonstrates the extent to which reactionary bigotry has infected mainstream thought.
Since Norway's gunman had apparently written a manifesto citing two anti-Islamist websites based in America, our "progressive" friends have gone to town, liberally including a laundry-list of foes. All somehow share the blame.

Leading the left's hit list is blogger Pamela Geller, whose work was said to have been mentioned by gunman Anders Behring Breivik. That somehow opens the door for bringing Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and other American commentators into the mix.

No real proof for these connections is ever presented -- at best you have a couple of quotes from a couple of websites that are certainly within the mainstream -- specifically Atlas Shrugs and Gates of Vienna. From there the Left and the media (but i repeat myself) have attempted to expand the circle of blame to include other prominent conservative figures in this country who have written on similar themes.

Now let me be clear -- I subscribe to the feed of both websites. The Gates of Vienna was at one time one of the blogs that participated in the Wacher's Council with me, and I once would have counted the major co-bloggers (whose pen-names are Baron Bodissey and Dymphna) as close online friends before our interests and blogging focus drifted in different directions. But having read their writings over the last few years, I can tell you that the site owners at both blogs are adamant in their opposition to violence as a means of combating what they see as the threat of radical Islamist ideas and practitioners to the survival of Western culture. I don't agree with them on everything they write, but I can't say that I've seen anything on the sites that contradicts their stated positions in that regard. As such, I find it impossible to accept the argument that linkage to a website, or quotes from one, by a madman imputes responsibility for the madman's actions upon the bloggers.

But let's assume that there were, in fact, a direct connection between the acts of violence we saw in Norway and the words of these bloggers and other commentators who have been blamed for the deeds of Anders Behring Breivik -- a "smoking gun" in the form of a note that said "I read this on the website and am, in response, going out to commit murder." Would that create culpability on the part of the speaker or writer? Hardly -- unless there was a direct call for violence in those words.

So to those who would make the argument that we on the right side of the political spectrum must cease to speak or moderate our rhetoric -- or that the government must act to limit the speech that they blame for the Norway Horror or some other act of violence -- I say the following:

Those who argue that Americans must silence or moderate their political speech lest the most unstable individual in society somehow be pushed to violence are nothing less than fascists opposed to the First Amendment. Let the free people of this country speak their minds freely and without reservation and to hell with these would-be censors!

UPDATE: I won't get into the questions a fundamentalist Christian out of a guy who wrote the following in his manifesto.

Contrary to early reports, Anders Behring Breivik is not a Christian. In fact in his 1,518 page manifesto, the perpetrator of the atrocities in Norway has specifically disavowed any real commitment to Christ. In his own words:
A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it. So what is the difference between cultural Christians and religious Christians?

If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian (p. 1307).

In other words, the terrorist is a Christian only in the broadest cultural sense of having been born into an overwhelmingly Christian society -- but he has no actual connection to those things that make one a believing Christian, much less a "fundamentalist". A more accurate description would be that he is a secular agnostic.

|| Greg, 08:00 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Censoring History

I wish these folks would just come out and admit they would like to disenfranchise religious believers and expunge all positive references to Christianity from any public setting.

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit to stop the display of the World Trade Center cross at a memorial of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The "government enshrinement of the cross was an impermissible mingling of church and state," the American Atheists say in a press statement.

What next -- remove the story of Father Mychal Judge as well, lest the inclusion of the heroic priest in the history of the jihadi attack on America on 9/11 be seen as an endorsement of religion?

|| Greg, 01:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Tepid Defense Of Glenn Beck

I don't like the guy, and I think he crossed a line with this particular comment, but he does have something of a point.

On his radio show Monday morning, Beck stirred up a controversy when he addressed the bombing in Oslo, Norway and shooting at a youth camp on Utoya island that killed 76 people.

As the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. Who does a camp for kids thats all about politics? Disturbing, Beck said.

Now let me make the obvious disclaimer -- the camp at Utya, which is run by the ruling Labour Party, is not the equivalent of the Hitler Youth. After all, no child is required to join the croup or participate in the came, as was the case with Hitler Youth. And I won't get into the ideological differences between the Labour Party and the Nazi Party.

But on the other hand, Beck does have a point from an American perspective. Utya is the property of the Workers' Youth League (Arbeidernes ungdomsfylking, AUF), and operates what amounts to a a training camp in the Labour Party's political ideology. We Americans don't really have an equivalent to this in our country, and our political parties do not operate this sort of program. So from an American point of view, the Beck's analogy is probably the first thing to come to mind.

Unfortunately, comparing any organization to a Nazi organization is fraught with danger, and Beck certainly stepped in it by making it now -- and deserves criticism. Personally, I think he would have done better to compare the AFU the Soviet Union's Young Pioneers, Red China's Communist Youth League, Cuba's Young Communist League, or Venezuela's Bolivarian Youth -- especially given that the Labour Party's history of association with the Communist International. These examples, however, would have been less well-known to Americans.

Now do we have ideologically oriented educational programs for young people in this country? Yeah we do -- and I've written letters of recommendation for programs on both sides of the ideological spectrum for students seeking admission or looking for financial aid. Beck ran one himself not long ago. And the two major parties do operate youth organizations -- though the Teenage Republicans and Young Democrats of America High School Caucus are not terribly significant organizations in the way the AUF is in Norway.

So Glenn beck did have a point -- but as is all too often the case, he expressed it in a manner inflammatory enough to obscure that point in unnecessary controversy. That's part of why I've never been a listener or viewer -- and plan on keeping it that way, even as I offer this minimalistic defense of what he said.

|| Greg, 01:18 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 24, 2011

Liberal Website Rejects Shared Sacrifice, Everyone Having Skin In The Game

Summed up, the argument is "I'm entitled to mine, go take it from someone else".

I don't care whether the debt ceiling lift is temporary or permanent. I care that I have paid into a system my entire adult life knowing I would get Medicare at 65 and social security at 66. Republicans want to steal the money I've already paid in and put it somewhere else, making me wait another two years for Medicare. And raise my taxes at the same time.

In other words, the liberals of TalkLeft reject a principle enunciated by the unicorn-riding demigod during his triumphal march on Washington in the days before his Inauguration in 2009.

OBAMA: What we have to do is to take a look at our structural deficit, how are we paying for government, what are we getting for it, and how do we make the system more efficient?

STEPHANOPOULOS: And eventually sacrifice from everyone.

OBAMA: Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.

Well, he still hasn't fixed anything -- and his followers still believe they can skin their enemies without a bit of sacrifice on their part. Maybe that explains why Obma and the Dems have no budget and no debt plan -- nobody on their side is willing to share in the sacrifice they expect of Republicans.

|| Greg, 01:34 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Norwegian Maniac Inspired By Unabomber?

So it would appear. (WARNING -- translation from Norwegian to English is rough.)

So before anyone else on the Left tries to connect the evil deeds of Anders Behring Breivik to mainstream conservatives (who, as far as I can tell, have universally rejected and condemned the acts of terrorism he committed) based upon some notion that he is part of the "far-right" -- remember that the Unabomber was certainly a man of the Left inspired by the words and rhetoric of the Left.

So before we go much further down the road of creating a "transitive property of terrorism", I'd like to remind folks of Jeff Jacoby's observation at the time the Unabomber was arrested some 15 years ago.

He who says X must say Y. Either Al Gore, Earth First, and Greenpeace had a hand in the Unabomber's killings -- or Newt Gingrich, the NRA, and Rush Limbaugh's radio show didn't cause the carnage in Oklahoma City. If John Salvi is the product of "mainstream antiabortion rhetoric," then Theodore Kaczynski was spawned by mainstream environmentalists.

Every movement has its kooks and degenerates. To blame the left for the crimes of the Unabomber would be shameless. Even as it was shameless to blame the right for the crimes in Brookline and Oklahoma City.

Imputing responsibility for the deeds of loonies and fringe-oids to more mainstream figures is absurd and irresponsible. And if the Left and the media are going to try to do that in this case, they need to be careful -- because from where I stand, that would mean jumping from Anders Behring Breivik to Ted Kaczynski and thence to Al Gore and a host of folks in the mainstream of the Left. Such an effort to assign "blame by association" would therefore inevitably lead to the blamers blaming themselves.

|| Greg, 12:40 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

|| Greg, 07:37 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 23, 2011

They Tried To Make Her Go To Rehab

She might be alive if she had said "yes, yes yes" instead of continuing on with her substance abusing ways. Instead we receive the news that Amy Winehouse is dead of a drug overdose -- an outcome that was sadly all to predictable.

Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in London.

The Back To Black singer was found at the property by emergency services at 3.54pm, and it's believed Winehouse's death was due to a suspected drug overdose.

Winehouse was apparently 'beyond help' when paramedics arrived, according to Sky sources.

Sources have also claimed Winehouse's death was due to a drug overdose.

Those of you who think I am mocking Winehouse's death, please understand that I am doing nothing of the sort. I'm merely pointing out the sad reality that those who live by chemical dependency are quite likely to die by chemical dependency -- and all the fame and fortune in the world will not forestall that likely outcome. That is why I implore those of you who read this and in any way recognize yourself in the sad story of Amy Winehouse to reach out and seek help. You don't need to die this way.

|| Greg, 03:50 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 22, 2011

The Headline Raises A Question

From today's Houston Chronicle:

Conroe driver gets 55 years
in prison on 8th DWI conviction

Why did it take EIGHT DWI convictions to put him away more or less permanently?

|| Greg, 03:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"Billions For Welfare, But Not One Penny For Defense" -- Congressional Dems Join Chorus

Simply obeying the call of the ObaMessiah's voice.

"We're willing to bite the bullet and make serious cuts in discretionary spending," Pelosi told a small group of reporters and bloggers. "That could go to a trillion dollars or more. And the interest saved on that can take us to like a trillion and a half dollars saved."
We could go even further with non-health mandatories, could take us almost to two trillion. We could use the offshore -- the Overseas Contingency [the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan] -- could take us to two-and-a-half trillion dollars. Which is the dollar-for-dollar for the lifting the debt ceiling. I don't think we have to have dollar-for-dollar, but for those who think they do, there's a path to get there.

That's not a great deal for Democrats, she noted, but it protects key programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. "[T]hat's a non-revenue path. I don't like it at all but it doesn't go near our entitlements," Pelosi said.

Oddly enough, Pelosi says nothing about cutting funding for Obama's illegal, unconstitutional undeclared war in Libya. I wonder how that oversight happened?

And don't you love the notion that spending n defense is discretionary, while welfare programs are "entitlements" -- despite the fact that under the Constitution it is defense spending that is the only one authorized.

|| Greg, 01:01 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (112) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Did NewsCorp Do Anything Different Than Woodward and Bernstein?

Not according to Mickey Kaus, who notes that Carl Bernstein was more than willing to obtain phone records -- even those of grand jurors considering indictments in the Watergate case -- in order to make sure he and Bob Woodward got to scoop their rivals during those heady days back in the 1970s.

Yet somehow Bernstein sees such actions by NewsCorp's News of the World to be different.

"[J]ournalism is not a license to abuse a free press. He went on to say the Murdoch enterprise has acted like thugs, not like reporters, somewhat like a mafia outfit.

Yeah -- because illegally getting phone records and information like they did is so very different from illegally getting phone records and information like you did.

But then again, if Carl Bernstein hadn't taken that path,he wouldn't have become a fabulously wealthy international celebrity and historical figure, as well as managing editor of the Washington Post. he would have just been one more beat reporter for the paper's Virginia bureau, toiling away in obscurity. And he certainly wouldn't have had the moral authority to explain how his criminal conduct in the service of liberal reporting was good journalism and his ideological opponent's use of similar tactics were an exercise in organized crime.

G/T Legal Insurrection

|| Greg, 10:50 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

"Billions For Welfare, But Not One Penny For Defense" -- Obama

In the early days of the Republic, patriotic Americans rallied around the cry of "Millions for defense, but not one penny for tribute" in response to French efforts to extort money from the infant United States. Yet sadly, we today find America led by a President who would prefer that we spend our budget on transfer payments and social programs rather than upon the clearly defined constitutional duty to defend the United States.

"A lot of the spending cuts that we're making should be around areas like defense spending as opposed to food stamps," President Obama told in an interview with NPR.

"What is true is that given the rising number of seniors and given the huge escalation in health care costs, that if we dont structure those programs so that they are sustainable, then its going to be hard for the next generation to enjoy those same kinds of benefits. And so we are going to have to make some modest changes that retain the integrity of the program, but make sure that theyre there for years to come. And thats not even just a deficit problem, thats a step that even if we were all Democrats up here on Capitol Hill, wed have to start making to make sure the integrity of those programs are preserved," Obama also said in the interview.

Got that? Obama's priority is taking money from working Americans and giving it to the non-productive -- and making sure that such programs are sustained, grown, and expanded in the future (remember -- ObamaCare kicks in with the 2014 budget). And if that means cutting back on national defense, then so be it.

What does the Constitution say about the relative priorities that should be assigned to these two budget areas?

Here's defense.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States. . .

Article I, Section 8, Clauses 11-16
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

And the following are the constitutional provisions regarding programs like Medicaid, Social Security, and ObamaCare.

Yeah, that's right, folks -- there is no constitutional basis for those programs like there is for national defense. And before you try to make something of the "general welfare" language of the document, consider these quotes from two of the Founding Fathers.

James Madison said, in a letter to James Robertson, With respect to the two words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. James Madison also said, If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions. James Madison laid out what he saw as constitutional limits on federal power in Federalist Paper Number 45 where he explained, The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce."

Thomas Jefferson explained in a letter to Albert Gallatin, Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.

What's more, from the earliest days of the republic it was understood that there was no authority under the Constitution for Congress to appropriate money for charity, benevolences, or such expenditures.

And yet Obama would turn that on its head -- he would cut our defense spending in the midst of military conflicts (including his illegal, unconstitutional undeclared war in Libya) in order to continue the expansion of the welfare state.

Is it any wonder we need to stop him?

|| Greg, 10:28 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Are Unions A Threat To Representative Democracy?

Yes they are!

And not just because of their ability to compel workers to contribute money to candidates they oppose through mandatory union dues.

No, they threaten representative democracy through stuff like this.

Before Assemblyman David P. Rible took an oath and became a state lawmaker, he had taken another vow to uphold and protect the New Jersey State Policemens Benevolent Association and its members.

Now, at least one PBA official believes Rible, a Republican from Monmouth County, violated the union pledge by voting for pension and benefit reform last month.

Michael A. Deroian of PBA Local 314 of the Monmouth County Sheriffs Office has issued union charges against Rible who retired on disability from the Wall Township Police Department in 1998 but remains a PBA member for that vote and asked the New Jersey State PBA to hold a hearing on the matter.

Now let's make this really clear -- this union thug has filed charges with the union's internal kangaroo court system that will in all likelihood result in a member of the legislature being punished for voting in a manner consistent with the wishes of his constituents. If allowed to stand, that means that union members (from both the public and private sector) have a financial incentive to follow the dictates of union leaders in how they vote on legislation.

What next? Fines for union members who have a yard sign or bumper sticker for a candidate not supported by the union bosses?

Now just imagine the outrage if employers tried firing employees who were also legislators -- or if they made promotion/raise decisions on that basis. I think we would likely even see criminal charges over such practices. here's hoping that there is an investigation -- and indictments -- over this effort.

H/T RedState, Labor Union Report

|| Greg, 09:53 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Movie I'm Waiting For

We've seen so many of the classic comic and action heroes coming to the big screen. Now one of my favorites will be coming to the screen -- arriving in March!

Yeah, that's right -- I became addicted to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels while I was in high school. And I can't wait for John Carter to reach the big screen this spring.

|| Greg, 09:22 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

I Back Allen West!

Now it would be easy to make the case that the whole Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Syphilis Test) Allen West conflict is only a matter of racists attacking a black man. After all, to paraphrase the words of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this congressman. Why is he different?

But I cannot make that case. There is more to it than black and white. Let's not forget that Wasserman Schultz has a long history of attacking Allen West personally -- dating back to her antics during the 2010 election campaign and now in a pointedly insulting floor speech that violates House traditions on courtesy towards other members. And for all the hysteria from Democrats about West's response to her attack, I don't see the contents of his email to her to be all that objectionable.

From: Z112 West, Allen Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behaviorwhich dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

Democrats have gone ballistic -- in particular over the perceived sexist insult in stating that she is "not a Lady" and will no longer be treated like one. The female Democrats in the House want action taken against West, and the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus has taken the unprecedented step of publicly attacking a member of the caucus -- something they do not even do when a member has been caught engaging in criminal conduct. Liberal Jewish groups that said not a word when Jewish Congressman Eric Cantor was attacked as "childish" by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (who demanded that the highest ranking Jew in the leadership of either party in either house of Congress be excluded from debt ceiling negotiations for daring to offer a solution dislike by President Obama) have rushed to Debbie Wasserman Schultz's defense. So I'm again back to that paraphrase of Sheila Jackson Lee -- I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this congressman. Why is he different?

black elephnat in blue water-2777.jpeg

Yeah, I think that picture explains it. It isn't merely that Allen West is black -- after all, the Left is more than willing to allow African-Americans to say all sorts of outrageous things, even if they are documentably untrue, without criticism. And they are certainly prepared to allow much more blatantly disgusting attacks against women -- the DNC and various other Democrat groups have raised tons of money by engaging in vile, despicable, and disgusting sexist attacks upon Sarah Palin, and have even done so during Debbie Wasserman Schultz's tenure as head of the Democrat Party. So as I've noted, this isn't about race per se or about gender (replace "Lady" with "Gentleman" and that email could have been sent to any male member of the House without raising an eyebrow), nor is it about Wasserman Schultz's religion. What it is about is Allen West being the most prominent, most popular, most outspoken black Republican in America today and the need to tear him down before he can make a run for the United States Senate or even receive the vice presidential nomination on the GOP ticket in 2012. That is why we have seen such demagoguery from Democrats.

Now Debbie Wasserman Schultz is out there playing the victim. It is really a rather pathetic thing, given that she is the head of the Democrat Party. That is a role that invites attack, especially when the person holding the spot is also a sitting elected official. If she cannot role with the punches that come with the job, does she really belong in it? She would do better to look to the example of Nancy Pelosi, who had the dignity not to use her vagina as a shield when the going got tough and her opponents mounted fierce attacks against her.

My belief here is that Allen West has nothing to apologize for here -- and that none of us should hold our breath waiting for Debbie Wasserman Schultz to apologize for the ongoing campaign she has mounted against West since before the election. But I do think that Wasserman Schultz needs to thank her lucky stars that the House of Representatives does not follow the customs and practices of the UK's House of Commons -- she wouldn't last five minutes there.

In the end, it really comes back to the very sort of situation aptly described in this clip.

This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured. . . rather than hung from a tree.

So let me say to Congressman Allen West -- I stand with you, sir, as you stand up to those on the Left who seek to destroy you for being a voice of integrity courageously speaking out for the sort of common sense principles that Americans are crying out for.

And to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- I continue to laugh contemptuously at you, for you have once again shown yourself to be a bad joke that isn't funny. But I do make this "long distance dedication" to you.

|| Greg, 09:01 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (345) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 20, 2011

One More Cool Thing To Do If You Are James Bond


And it would piss off Al Gore, too!

|| Greg, 08:02 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 17, 2011

Watcher's Council Results

This week may represent the closest voting among some of the best nominees during my time on the Council.

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

|| Greg, 07:34 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 16, 2011

KKK Demands Inferior Education For Local Black Students

Oh, my mistake -- it is actually Sheila Jackson Lee insisting that the chronically failing North Forest Independent School District remain open because of the importance to the local black community that its children continue to receive a substandard education.


More than 300 residents of the North Forest school district vowed during an emotional meeting Saturday to stop the state from shutting it down amid dismal academic and financial reports.

"It strikes me as the highest level of hypocrisy and racism to close the North Forest Independent School District," U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said after an emergency meeting with leaders and residents of the troubled northeast Harris County district. "For this notice to come out, without any consultation with the federal representative that represents that school district, and without any public discussions with the surrounding community is an absolute abuse of power."

Jackson Lee said she plans to appeal to Gov. Rick Perry to overturn Education Commissioner Robert Scott's order to close the district in July 2012. The decision came after three straight years of unacceptable academic rating and substandard financial ratings.

North Forest ISD has NEVER been able to properly educate its students in the years I've lived in Houston. Students of mine who have escaped that failing district have been woefully behind the students at both of the schools where I've taught them, and tell horror stories. So do the competent teacher who have taught there, men and women who make the choice to leave rather than stay in a district that is so badly mismanaged.

And yet somehow, people think it is more important that the failing schools and corrupt system remain in place rather than allow the sort of change that might just give these kids a fighting chance.

In the headline to this post, I said it was the KKK that was working to keep these black kids ignorant, uneducated, and bereft of a chance of getting ahead academically. It is the so-called community leaders -- from Sheila Jackson Lee on down -- and the citizens they mislead with false accusations of racism who are doing the job for them.

It is enough to make me wish that it really were the Klan trying to keep this district open in order to prevent the students there from getting an education. If it were, maybe the folks who attended that meeting would care enough about those students to support change that would actually allow them to get a decent education instead of working to obstruct it.

|| Greg, 09:26 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Scandal! Bachmann Attended Lutheran Church That Followed Luther's Teachings

Now it may shock the historically ignorant, but the Reformation was a period of great animosity between Catholics and those who broke with Rome. Many of the Reformers had some not so complimentary things to say about the Church of Rome -- and in particular the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. And there is no doubt that Martin Luther identified the Pope in Rome with the Anti-Christ.

From the time of the Reformation to as recently as the late nineteenth century, followers of Luther's teachings (and most other streams of theology rooted in the Reformation) would have universally espoused that belief. For that matter, the theological belief that the Papacy was the anti-Christ remained common through my own childhood -- the best-selling works of Hal Lindsey certainly hinted at the view -- but the spirit of ecumenism that opened up greater dialogue between Catholics and Protestants in the years after Vatican II took a more friendly approach to non-Catholic believers has resulted in that view becoming a minority in contemporary Christian circles. And even among those churches that still hold to that centuries-old teaching, the importance of that notion has diminished to the point that the average believer in the pew would likely not know it was an official position of their denomination or find it obscure enough that they could dissent from it and remain a member in good standing of their local congregation.

That is why I, speaking as an ex-Catholic with a graduate level education in Catholic theology (I was at one point a year from being ordained a priest) who is now a member of a Protestant church, find the kerfluffle about Michelle Bachmann's membership in and departure from a congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod to be amusing.

Taking a page from President Obamas political playbook, Michele Bachmann has formally left a church in Minnesota accused of holding anti-Catholic views.

According to CNN, the church that Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus had attended for more than a decade, Salem Lutheran in Stillwater, Minn., granted the couples request to be released from their membership last month, a week after Bachmann told a national audience that she would run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Now let's face it -- the WELS very much represents the "traditionalist" strain of Lutheran teaching. As such, it looks askance at Roman Catholicism theologically, and still looks to the six great Lutheran Confessions of the sixteenth century as authoritative. To the degree that holding to these older documents leads to a theological opposition to fundamental tenets of Catholicism, it is fair to call the WELS "anti-Catholic" -- but only if one were to similarly argue that holding even to the more accommodating teachings of Vatican II makes the Catholic Church "anti-Protestant". Neither side advocates hatred for members of the other, nor abuse or mistreatment of individuals who adhere to the other belief system.

And as for Michelle Bachmann, I think the words of this press release from the Catholic League (which has a long history of battling anti-Catholicism) really says it all.

The Catholic League finds it regrettable that there are still strains of anti-Catholicism in some Protestant circles, but we find no evidence of any bigotry on the part of Rep. Michele Bachmann. Indeed, she has condemned anti-Catholicism.

In this case, the effort to impute some level of bigotry to Bachmann is positively laughable in light of her record.

Which is, of course, why I laugh at the fact that anybody has even tried to make WELS doctrine on this matter an issue. After all, the "offense" of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in this instance -- if there is any offense at all -- is being authentically Lutheran. And quite frankly, it is hard to criticize them for that.

|| Greg, 08:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Call Him Captain Ahab Gingrich

I've long considered Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign a joke, but this just adds to the humor.

. . . Gingrich campaigns FEC report shows that nearly half of the debt comes from charting private airplanes. More specifically, b">the campaign owes $451,946.00 to Moby Dick Airways LTD.

Perhaps this latest development will cause the Gingrich campaign to suffer the same fate as Pequod did under a captain every bit as monomaniacal s Gingrich.

|| Greg, 06:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Maher Malignantly Mouths More Malevolent Misogyny

Bill Maher has a problem with women. No, I'm not talking about the girlfriend who claimed he physically abused her and taunted her with racial slurs -- thought that certainly qualifies as a problem with women. No, I'm talking about his apparent fear of strong women who dare to disagree with him on political issues on which he feels strongly -- as exemplified by his history of calling Barbara Bush a bitch and comparing Laura Bush to Hitler's dog.

But enough of the ancient history (if we can pretend that conduct within the last decade is "ancient history"). This inadequate specimen of manhood has decided to pretend relevance by engaging in the sexual degradation of conservative women -- one would presume because doing so makes him feel like a big, powerful man.

Take this example from the other night on Piers Morgan's interview show.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: If you had a choice, gun to your head, which one is it? Palin or Bachmann?

BILL MAHER: I would need a gun to my head. I hope Sarah Palin gets in so that they split the MILF vote.

Yeah, that's it -- sexualize and degrade women who are credible candidates for President of the United States. Mind you, I'm not a supporter of either of them, but I cannot help but notice that both have had great success in their chosen field and have millions of followers who are prepared to back their candidacies. And to chose the term "MILF" -- a term favored by adolescent boys and adult men who have never psycho-socially progressed past the adolescent stage -- tells us all we need to know about Maher's level of respect for women. Rather than dealing with them on the plane of ideas and as the powerful women that they are, Maher instead chooses to reduce them to their genitalia -- for the crime of having offended his liberal atheist sensibilities.

But Maher doubled down only days later, on his HBO television show (which I've commented on in another context here), with a suggestion that it would be appropriate for Michelle Bachmann's husband to engage in sexual violence against her! CORRECTION: The offensive line in question came from guest Marc Maron -- Maher just sat and laughed, which still leads inexorably to the conclusion that Maher thinks sexual violence against conservative women is amusing.

I hope [he] takes all that rage that comes from repression and denial into the bedroom with her. . . and I hope he f--ks her angrily, because thats how I would.

Got that? Sexual violence is an acceptable method for a man to deal with his own inadequacies -- which might explain that verbal and physical abuse of his former girlfriend.

Now I find it disheartening that a liberal icon like Maher gets a pass from his fellow liberals when it comes to his misogyny. There is no doubt that there would have been hell to pay if a conservative commentator/comedian had called Hillary Clinton a MILF during the 2008 campaign (or referred to Nancy Pelosi as one during her days as Speaker of the House). And were some commentator suggest that the president physically take out his rage and bitterness over being a failed president on his wife -- that Barack Obama "f--k Michelle angrily" because of his inadequacies as a leader -- that individual would need security like Salman Rushdie's for the rest of his life.

But Maher's misogynistic muttering doesn't provoke that sort of outrage from the "pro-woman" "progressives". They laugh along with the contempt poured out on these women (and on other female conservatives) on the theory that they somehow deserve it for holding the unenlightened view that women can be successful, powerful, and publicly profess beliefs other than those that the Left has deemed appropriate for women to hold. Michelle Malkin -- herself a victim of both misogynistic and racist attacks from the Left for daring to think for herself -- summed it up very well a couple of years ago when she said the following.

Liberals hold a special animus for constituencies they deem traitors. . . . Women who put an R by their name have abandoned their ovaries and betrayed their gender. As Republican officeholders and conservative public figures who are women have grown in number and visibility, the progression of Conservative Female Abuse has worsened.

I can remember the day when comments like the two above would have ended the career of the television personality who uttered them -- or even let them pass unchallenged. There was a time when the host of a show publicly calling a woman a "c-nt" or a "dumb tw-t" (as Maher called Palin only a few months ago) would have led sponsors to pull their ads in a heartbeat in the face of angry protests by feminists. But it seems that when the target is conservative, there are no consequences. I guess it is because there is no longer much of a decent Left that believes in the dignity of ALL women.

|| Greg, 04:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Tolerance-Promoting Homosexualist* Dan Savage Engages In Hate Speech

Indeed, the moving force behind the "It Gets Better" Project seems to think that tolerance is only for sexual minorities -- and that hate speech directed against political opponents is A-OK.

As NewsBusters previously reported, Friday's "Real Time" on HBO contained some of the most vile political talk ever broadcast on national television.

In one panel segment, gay sex advice columnist Dan Savage said of Republicans, "I wish they were all f--king dead"

Now just to remind you -- the "It Get's Better" Project immediately asks you to take the following pledge when you go to its website.

THE PLEDGE: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."

Apparently, though, Dan Savage believes that this doesn't apply to Republicans (apparently not even bullied teen Republicans), because he wishes death on them. Indeed, imagine what the response would be from Savage if someone were to go on television and make the statement that he wished all homosexuals were dead -- it would be outrage at the hate and intolerance of such a statement. But Dan Savage apparently cannot tolerate a little diversity in the realm of ideas (you know -- the sort of diversity that actually makes a difference) and hates those who go against what he believes to be true.

* For an explanation fo the term "homosexualist", please clock this link.

UPDATE: Savage has offered a half-assed, half-hearted apology.

I was on Real Time with Bill Maher tonight. I was talking to someone at the party after the show, and they asked me how I thought it went. Okay, I saidand then I told them that I said something really, really stupid, half under my breath, and I was relieved that Bill and the rest of the panel didn't hear it. But folks watching the show at home might have heard it... so... I want to apologize for... um... wishing all Republicans dead.

I don't feel that way. My dad is a Republican. (Well, he says he's an independent, but he hasn't voted for a Democrat since JFK. My dad is a Republican.) I'm fond of Michael Bloomberg and William Weld and Lincoln Chafee, and I wish no harmsave the political varietyon those Republicans I loathe. Even the one Republican I really had it in for once upon a timeRonald Reaganmanaged to outlive my anger.

It was a stupid, rude, thoughtless remark. I regret it and I retract it and I apologize to anyone watching at homeparticularly my father (!)who may have heard me say it. I had a drink before the showfirst and last time I've ever done thatbut this wasn't a case of, "In vino, veritas."

This was a case of, "In vino, stupidtas."

Speaking as a Republican, I accept this apology to the same degree that you would accept an identical apology from a prominent Republican who stated on a national television broadcast, sotto voce, that they wished that all homosexuals were "f--king dead".

|| Greg, 11:54 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obamunism's Failure Causes Dem-Friendly Goldman Sachs To Predict Continuation Of Great Dem-Pression

Sucks to be Barry.

Following another week of weak economic data, we have cut our estimates for real GDP growth in the second and third quarter of 2011 to 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively, from 2% and 3.25%. Our forecasts for Q4 and 2012 are under review, but even excluding any further changes we now expect the unemployment rate to come down only modestly to 8% at the end of 2012.

So much for the Obama Regime's predictions in 2009 of growth over 4% as far as the eye could see.

Some guy talked about what this sort of economic failure would mean back on February 2, 2009.

Which means, of course, that by Barack Obama's own standards he should be a One Term President.

|| Greg, 11:22 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Looks Like Rick Perry Is Running

I've sort of assumed that he would be making a presidential run, but this sort of confirms it.

Word in Austin is that Rick Perry is doing everything necessary to prepare for a presidential run, including brushing up on foreign policy.

We hear that he recently met with top national-security experts Doug Feith and William Luti.

Feith, who served in the George W. Bush administration as under secretary of defense, confirmed to National Review Online that he had met with Perry in Austin Wednesday. He would not divulge the details of the conversation, but said it centered on national security matters.

Luti, who also served in the Bush administration as special assistant to the president and senior director for defense policy and strategy for the National Security Council, also reportedly attended the meeting.

Yeah, his aides say that Perry meets with lot's of folks about many different things. But coming as it does in the midst of this speculation about a Perry presidential candidacy, it can only serve as confirmation.

|| Greg, 11:09 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 15, 2011

Sheila Jackson Lee Reminds Us It Is Always All About Race

Fresh from declaring the decision to close the chronically failing North Forest Independent School District to be an act of racism, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has also made it clear that opposition to raising the debt ceiling is also racist -- because apparently opposition to Barack Obama can only be based on the color of his skin.


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Friday strongly suggested that members of Congress are making it difficult for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling because of his race.

"I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president, said Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?

Yeah, Sheila, never in American history has any president faced partisan opponents who have worked to stymie his proposals and prevent his reelection. Not once.

Well, except when you were REPEATEDLY calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush. Or accusing him of genocide against black people after katrina. Or repeatedly questioning his legitimacy as president because of alleged suppression of the black vote. So tell me, Sheila, were your anti-Bush activities all about opposing him because he was a white man in the Oval Office?

And for that matter, earlier today I put up a post quoting Barack Obama when he opposed an increase of the debt ceiling in 2006. Every Senate Democrat voted against that increase. So you see opposition -- even partisan opposition -- to a debt ceiling increase isn't unprecedented. And I believe you opposed that increase when it was voted upon in the House, too.

But I guess all that stuff is different.

After all, you were a black woman standing up to a white man -- no racial politics there. Or at least none that you find objectionable. Apparently you believe that standing up to Republican presidents is what Democrats like yourself are supposed to do.

But all these EEEEEEE-VIL Republicans opposing Dear leader Barack Hussein Obama? It can only be about race -- and even if it isn't you can still claim it is.

And as we white folks are regularly told by master race-baiters like yourself, denying you are a racist is as good as a confession of racism -- because being white and disagreeing with a black who calls you a racist is in and of itself racist.

Which is why this last bit in your little temper tantrum is truly priceless.

Jackson Lee concluded by saying that she hoped someone would step up and say that what appears obvious to her is not in fact true.

"I hope someone will say that what it appears to be is not in fact accurate," said Lee. "But historically it seems to be nothing more."

It isn't racism, you camera-hogging, self-promoting, race-baiting, poverty-pimping hatemonger. Opposing Obama on this one is just plain common sense, given that he has in three years racked up twice as much deficit spending as his predecessor did in eight.

And I'll direct you back to the words of Barack Obama when he opposed increasing the debt limit.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising Americas debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. . . . America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

If those words were true in 2006, then they are just as true today. Are you calling Barack Obama a liar?

So why are we Republicans opposing this president on this and so many other issues? That is an easy one. America deserves better than Barack Obama -- and that has nothing to do with his race.

UPDATE: Most creative response by a conservative to SJL's idiocy goes to Eric Olsen at Gay Patriot.

And here I was, thinking the race card had been eaten by the ATM for massive fraud.


|| Greg, 04:49 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Maybe We Shouldn't Raise The Debt Ceiling

After all, this is a compelling argument.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising Americas debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government cant pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Governments reckless fiscal policies. Increasing Americas debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

The speaker? Barack Obama, back in 2006 when he was still a Senator. If that argument was so compelling then, it is surely even more compelling today when we are much deeper in debt due to his policies. Indeed, in 2006 that argument was so compelling that no Senate Democrat voted for the increase in the debt ceiling -- so how do Obama, Biden, Reid, or any other Democrat have the audacity to say that it is irresponsible for Republicans to block one -- or demand major spending cuts as a condition for one -- today?

|| Greg, 06:35 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Hero Comes Home

With the thanks of a grateful nation.

Linda Sanders said her generation always had a single standing order from the older members of the family "Bring Pat home."

On Thursday, that mission was accomplished after nearly 50 years when an urn containing the remains of Lt. Commander William Patrick Egan was handed to his widow on the steps of a funeral home in Webster.

"He's finally home," Sanders, of La Porte, said of her beloved uncle. "Our family is back together. We're complete."

Egan, who was born and grew up in Houston, was shot down April 19, 1966, while bombing targets in Laos. The crash site was eventually located, but his whereabouts remained a mystery. A DNA sample Sanders provided about 10 years ago was a near-perfect match for bone fragments a farmer in Laos turned over to U.S. officials in late 2009.

"I've been waiting for them to find him all these years," said Anne Egan, cradling his urn. A burial for the Navy pilot is scheduled for Saturday.

William Egan was flying an A1-H Skyraider off the aircraft carrier USS Hancock when he was shot down in an area of central Laos that was considered a major artery of the Ho Chi Minh Trail leading into Vietnam.

|| Greg, 06:21 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 14, 2011

This Day In History -- Obama Takes Full Responsibility For America's Economy

Barack Obama -- July 14, 2009

My administration has a job to do as well, and that job is to get this economy back on its feet thats my job. And its a job I gladly accept. I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, Well this is Obamas economy thats fine GIVE IT TO ME. My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe. So . . . so I welcome the job. I want the responsibility.

Today we are mired in a so-called "jobless recovery" in which every bit of economic bad news is "unexpected" and the good news is virtually non-existent. After two years, are we able to call the Obama economy the Great Dem-Pression?


|| Greg, 08:07 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Threatens To Violate Fourth Clause Of The Fourteenth Amendment, Intentionally Choose To Starve Veterans And Seniors

It hasn't been that long since the talk within the Obama Regime (and among its toadies in liberal land) was the invocation of Clause Four of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Now the clear meaning here is that Congressionally authorized debt and pensions must be paid. And those who made the argument for Obama being able to exceed the debt limit was that the president was required to take all possible actions to avoid defaulting on either of those two obligations of the United States. But as was pointed out by opponents (which is why the "Fourteenth Amendment Solution" fell out of favor among the Left), the government has a constant turnover of funds in its accounts, and each month receives roughly 60-70% of the funds needed to pay for ALL federal spending. In other words, President Obama and Secretary of the Treasury Geithner have the ability to pay those obligations using the existing revenue stream while withholding dollars from other areas that are not constitutionally mandated.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has now gone so far as to threatened to VOLUNTARILY default on the pension obligations of the United States in order to continue spending on other programs that are not mandatory under the Fourteenth Amendment.

I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we havent resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it, Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

Yes, you can guarantee it, Barry. You have the authority to ensure that the US Constitution is upheld by directing the Secretary of the Treasury to send out no checks except for those mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment. You have the authority to order the sell-off of portions of the federal god reserves in Fort Knox, or the sale of excess federal lands or buildings, as well as other unneeded assets. If you fail to fulfill the Fourteenth Amendment obligation to send out those checks, it is because you made a decision to violate your oath of office, a premeditated choice to fail in your obligation to follow the Constitution. All it takes is an executive order -- and you would be supported in that course of action by both houses of Congress and the American people. And it isn't like you are reluctant to use executive orders -- even to go against the will of Congress and the people -- so you have no principled excuse for failure to act now.

And if you do fail to act, Mr. President, you will be impeached and you will be removed -- after all, how many Democrats in the US Senate do you believe will be willing to stand for reelection having gone on record as saying that you did the correct thing by not only failing to follow the Fourteenth Amendment, but by voluntarily choosing to starve veterans, the elderly, and the disabled? So if you want to "shoot the hostages", go ahead -- and realize that you will have set the stage for an epoch of GOP presidents and congresses like that which followed the Civil War.

And as for my brothers and sisters in the GOP, I urge them to get behind the proposal made by Senator Pat Toomey earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Senate Democrats rejected a Toomey proposal which would continue paying debt and social security checks, even if additional borrowing is not authorized. But Republicans now need to reinvigorate the Toomey bill and focus on a single sentence between now and August 2: We will protect social security from Barack Obamas efforts to cut social security in order to fund his liberal agenda.

Reintroduce that bill in the Senate. Introduce an identical one in the House. Schedule a House vote and try to force one in the Senate. And then ask that question of Democrats. That will again make it clear that the Republicans are seeking to have the guarantees of the Constitution carried out -- and will require Obama and the Democrats to either go along with doing so or explain why they put partisan politics ahead of the Constitution and the veterans, seniors, and disabled of America.

UPDATE: This from Emily Miller of the Washington Times, taking a similar tack to what I suggested above.

[Rep. Louie] Gohmert filed a discharge petition Thursday to speed up a vote on his bill, which has 197 co-sponsors, to ensure soldiers, sailors and airmen are paid through any funding gaps. California Republican Rep. Tom McClintocks Full Faith and Credit Act directs the Treasury Department to pay all principal and interest due on debt. House appropriators should take these bills, add provisions for payment of Social Security and Medicare benefits, and pass it through the lower chamber next week. Lets see Senate Democrats vote not to pay the troops or seniors. Let the president veto if he dares.

Amen and amen. Let's take away Obama's hostages -- or make him and his Democrat toadies explain why it is more important to get what they want than it is to pay the debt, pensions, and the US military.

|| Greg, 07:38 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dissent Ain't Patriotic No More, Part 9,324,571

Here you have it -- another Democrat saying that GOP opposition to Obamunism and refusal to roll over for the Democrats is not patriotic dissent, but is instead terrorism!

. . . Beckel responded, saying Norquist personifies the opposition Boehner is facing and that the ATR president should face punishment.

Do all of you not think that its just a little bit difficult for Boehner when people say nothing, absolutely nothing? Beckel said. Grover Norquist that little dumpy guy down on K Street now theres a guy that ought to be sent to Gitmo as a terrorist as a national security threat to the United States.

Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld noted the irony of Beckel, a Democrat, supporting the facility of Guantanamo Bay as an institution to detain terrorists.

Now you finally like Gitmo, Gutfeld added.

I like it for Grover Norquist, Beckel said. Thats for sure.

I will not go so far as equating Obama to Hitler or Stalin, because he has yet to authorize the jailing or killing of political opponents on trumped up charges that they are enemies of the state. However, I will argue that Bob Beckel is the moral equivalent of a guard at a gulag or a gas chamber operator at Auschwitz for his willingness to eliminate those who dare to exercise their rights under the US Constitution to peacefully oppose policies they believe to be wrong -- and for equating them to those who actually make war on the United States. Especially since Beckel and his ilk are willing to let that latter group walk free in order to quash dissent among American citizens.

|| Greg, 06:56 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will This Be Treated As A Hate Crime?

I'm pretty sure that a man who cut off a woman's breasts or mutilated her vagina would be subject to such charges because they are an attack on her womanhood. So why shouldn't the victim of an attack like this receive equal protection of the law?

Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, is under arrest for chopping off her husband's penis and tossing it in the garbage disposal.

After she laced her husband's food with an unknown drug or poison, he lay down, believing something was wrong with the food, according to police reports. Her husband then woke up tied to the bed as Becker cut off his penis with a knife. She then threw the genitalia in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on, Lt. Jeff Nightengale of Garden Grove, Calif. police, said.

And let me say for the record for any woman who argues "he probably deserved it" (just like Becker claims) -- what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Your philosophical argument that he must have done something to merit sexual mutilation would also justify an angry or estranged husband/boyfriend doing the same to his wife/girlfriend. Do you really want to establish that precedent?

|| Greg, 06:37 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Belated Watcher's Council Results

Good grief! I've been so busy here lately that I've neglected to post the latest results from the Watcher's Council!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Enjoy the great reading -- and I promise i'll be mor etimely with the next set of results.

|| Greg, 06:30 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 11, 2011

Did Gawker Violate Intelligence Identities Protection Act Of 1982?

Remember the Plame Affair? You know, when a CIA employee who was not operating undercover had her name make it into the press allegedly -- but, it turned out, not -- at the behest of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and other allegedly nefarious Bush Administration hardliners? Remember the discussions of their having allegedly broken federal law with the alleged outing, and the outrage of the Left-o-sphere and the anti-Bush mainstream media? Well, we have a case today in which there seems to have been the actual outing of an undercover CIA official, but the silence in this case is deafening. Why? because the person doing the outing is a reliably left-wing blogger whose web-traffic puts him unquestionably in the category of "Internet Journalist".

Here's the background.

John Cook of Gawker attempted this week to out the CIA staffer who spearheaded the effort to kill Osama bin Laden.

In a post titled Is This the Guy Who Killed Bin Laden? Cook attempts to isolate the staffer, referred to in the APs coverage as an anonymous John, within press photography of then CIA-now SecDef Leon Panetta testifying about the successful raid, and from the same individuals presence in the background of White House photos. The AP was probably told too much in that piece to give people like Cook something to dig into, but thats another story.

Cook does not know the mans title, the mans name, nor does he give any indication in his piece of having made a call to the relevant offices to determine his identity (he bases his post entirely on the accusations of another blogger). He could be a scheduler or a personal staffer. Or he could be the key figure Cook speculates he is.

But whether Cook is correct or not, this once anonymous staffer at the CIA is now a target.

Now I have had my differences with Ben Domenech, but I have to agree with him on this point. This isn't the non-outing of a non-secret agent like Plame (whose cover had been blown years before anyone heard of her and her dishonest husband). This is an actual effort to out someone who would immediately have a target on his back for his involvement in icing Osama. What possible good could come from exposing him? And what's more, how does this square with the outrage of liberals -- including Cook -- over the Plame affair.

Now back at the height of the Plame affair, Senator Gary Hart (a reliable liberal) wrot the following at the reliably liberal Huffington post:

. . . the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) of 1982 . . . mak[es[ it a felony to knowingly divulge the identity of a covert CIA operative. It carries penalties of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for each offense. There are those who dismiss the crime by saying, "Oh, Wilson only had a desk job." That is not a defense under this felony statute. It is for the CIA, not Karl Rove or Robert Novak, to determine who requires identity protection and who does not.

As we later were told (and as independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew from Day 1 of his investigation but refused to divulge to the public), Rove had nothing to do with the disclosure. But note that Hart argues that the law applies fully to journalists who disclose such information as a part of their reporting. And, as Hart notes, the law applies to stateside analysts working at a desk as well as to agents in the field.

Gary Hart also made the following observation about the IIPA in his column.

So, there's the crime. To casually and willfully endanger the life of an undercover CIA agent is a felony. You either believe in taking the laws of the United States seriously or you do not. Citizens - even highly placed ones - do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey and which they will not.

And so, in a spirit of bipartisanship, let me update and paraphrase Senator Hart in relation to the current situation -- So, there's the crime. To casually and willfully endanger the life of an undercover CIA agent is a felony. You either believe in taking the laws of the United States seriously or you do not. Citizens - even prominent internet journalists like John Cook of Gawker - do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey and which they will not.

Now, will Barack Obama order Eric Holder and the Justice Department to investigate this matter thoroughly, seek an indictment of John Cook and then prosecute him to the full extent of the law? Will those denizens of the Left-o-sphere who insisted that non-responsible parties who were in no way responsible for the non-outing of non-covert CIA employee Valerie Plame forthrightly join in that call for such legal action against Cook?

After all, as John Cook himself argued at the height of PlameGate, as he advocated for the punishment of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby (for something it turned out they never did), "People ought to be held accountable for the things they do and say, for good or for ill." And you know what -- that even applies to internet journalists in the field of opinion-infused non-objective reporting.

|| Greg, 10:02 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

From The "I Don't Give A Rip" File

I suspect I;m not alone in that sentiment.

Casey Anthony's safety post-release worries lawyer

Maybe you should have thought about that before you engaged in tactics designed to get an acquittal on the most serious charges for this woman whose guilt is pretty obvious to most Americans. A conviction and life sentence would have made the state responsible for protecting her -- instead she will walk "free" on Sunday.

And make no mistake -- Casey Anthony will be required to look over her shoulder for the rest of her life The media, especially the likes of Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell have had three years to stir the pot and inflame the public passions about her. Your defense strategy appears to have burned the bridges between Casey and her family. She is also a convicted felon (she pled guilty to six bad check charges last year) -- which means that she is ineligible to own or possess a handgun for self-defense. . .

Seems to me that Casey Anthony is going to have to change her name, change her appearance, and cut off all ties (those that are left) with her old life in Florida. And she will have to do so with no money, since public outrage over the case is likely to put a stop to all those deals on books, interviews, photos, etc that everyone thought would follow her acquittal. If she doesn't, she will be living with a target on her back -- and given the realities of the Internet age and the ready availability of information, she probably will even if she follows a course of action similar to my suggestion above (especially with the pending civil suits against her). The reality is that Casey Anthony probably would have been better off in jail, strictly from the point of view of her personal safety.

And one has to wonder -- given the inability to seat a jury that would convict Casey Anthony of little Caylee's murder, how likely is it that the defense could find a jury that would convict anyone who engaged in vigilante justice against her? I'd be willing to bet that we would see jury nullification in such a case..

|| Greg, 08:43 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Good Slurpee News, Bad Slurpee News

The Good News

Today 7-Eleven, the nations largest convenience store chain, expects to give away 5 million 7.11-ounce Slurpees on the chains unofficial birthday: 7/11. Thats roughly 1,000 freebie Slurpees per store.

So go get your free Slurpee.

The Bad News

Sadly, no there isnt a 7-Eleven here in the Houston area.

And it is 130.4 miles from my home to the one in Smithville, TX.

I really dont want a Slurpee quite that bad.

H/T Weasel Zippers

|| Greg, 07:39 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 09, 2011

Houston Chronicle Publishes Ignorant Column Ridiculing Rick Perry For Failure To Exercise Power He Doesn't Have Under The Texas Constitution

Good grief! It is hard to know where to start on this joke of a column that someone at the Chronicle seems to think constitutes a serious piece of political commentary. Of course, they borrowed it from the San Francisco Chronicle, so they have "plausible deniability" for the erroneous premise of the hit piece.

Last night, Texas governor Rick Perry ignored the pleas of President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush and gave the green light for the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia, the Mexican who raped and killed a 16-year-old girl.

So did the US Supreme Court. For that matter, so did a lower federal court a couple of weeks back when it found (in just the sort of hearing that the proposed legislation invoked by Obama would have granted to Leal) that the claim that counsular contact would have impacted the outcome of his trial to be utterly without merit. In other words, Leal got all the due process required by American law -- and more than an American citizen would have gotten for the identical crime.

But let's continue the fisking of this laughable piece of character assassination.

Now, we are told that the evidence against Leal Garcia is enough to be almost certain that he did it and, whether you agree or disagree with the death penalty, few will mourn his demise. But that's not the issue here. First of all, "almost certain" or "probably did it" isn't the same as "100 percent, iron clad certain". If somebody is getting the lethal injection, there shouldn't be even the slightest, minutest chance of doubt. Not possible in a criminal case? Then the death penalty is immoral. Better 100,000 guilty men walk free than one innocent man suffers, let alone dies.

Using that argument, we need to fling open the gates of every prison in the land. After all, 100% certainty -- the level of metaphysical certainty -- is impossible on anything, much less a criminal conviction. Our system uses the standard of "beyond a REASONABLE doubt", not "beyond ALL doubt" as its standard -- because there is always room for unreasonable doubt in any situation. We live that in our daily lives. I'm not 100% certain that a mosquito does not have equal moral weight to a human being -- but my level of certainty is such that I will still slap the blood-sucker when it lands on my arm because I am reasonably certain that the life of a bug is of lower value than human life and is therefore not murder.

But more importantly, is Perry genuinely executing Leal Garcia, and the other 200-plus people that have been killed-by-justice on his watch, for the right reasons? He has overseen the execution of more people than any other governor in US history. He has done this because he knows that right wing voters in Texas love the "hard line" approach. He knows that this stance plays well with the Tea Party and the rest of the American right. The fact that he is fiercely anti-abortion and gay marriage doesn't do his cause any harm with those guys either.

Perry has presided over the executions of more people than anyone else in US history? Yeah, he has. Why? Because he is one of the longest serving governors in history, in one of the largest states in America -- and Texas is not shy about using the proper sanction against killers. In other words, the statistical claim does not indicate any sort of blood-thirstiness on Rick Perry's part. Now I suppose you might choose to criticize Perry for supporting the death penalty, opposing gay marriage, and trying to stop abortion if you disagree with those positions, and you may even argue that he has used his positions on those issues to garner votes. But so what? Politicians seek votes by taking positions on issues and appealing to like-minded voters, and to feign shock and outrage over Rick Perry doing so with those three issues is like claiming that you are shocked to find gambling in a casino or prostitution in a brothel.

Oh, and by the way Mr. Arnfield, your pro-abortion position here is rather interesting. Are you "100 percent, iron clad certain" that those unborn babies are not innocent human beings guilty of no offense worthy of death? If not, how can you support and advocate for legalized abortion? Are your hands really clean on that one, or are you guilty of a much greater hypocrisy than you lay at the feet of Rick Perry in this case?

Does Perry know for certain that he hasn't executed any mentally challenged or mentally ill people while on his rampage? Probably not. Is he 100 percent certain that all of the people that he's given the syringe to are guilty? How can he be? If it later comes to light that one of the people that he has killed was innocent, will he volunteer for a dose of death serum himself? Doubtful.

A position that makes no more sense than requiring a member of a jury agree to serve time in prison if it is later demonstrated that the person they convicted was actually innocent of the crime.

The death penalty is a very difficult issue. Some go with the "eye for an eye" argument, while others think that to take the life of a murderer brings society down to the murderer's level. As Gandhi said, "an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."

Either way, both sides agree that the motives for the death penalty have to at least be pure. Does Perry really believe that he's making the streets safer by killing these people? Maybe, but it is hard not to believe that his primary concern is for his polling data.

Now there is a strawman argument -- that everybody agrees that the motives of the death penalty need to be pure. I certainly don't feel that way, because I know that there has been only one person in the history of the world with that degree of purity -- Jesus Christ. Indeed, I've never even heard the argument made by Arnfield here advanced by anyone before today. I'll settle for those involved in the death penalty having as their primary motive the imposition of justice and the carrying out of the penalty that society has determined through legislation and the courts to be the proper one in a particular case.

One final point. Steve Anfield seems to be under the delusion that Rick Perry has the independent power to stop the executions. As Texans know, he does not -- a condemned prisoner may get one 30-day reprieve without approval from the Board of Pardon and Parole. Without their recommendation, any effort to pardon a convict is null and void -- and would be grounds for impeachment and removal of the governor for exceeding his constitutional authority. Perry (and any Texas governor) is merely fulfilling a strictly administrative role when he signs the order for execution, not personally deciding to execute anyone -- indeed, that decision was made by a jury, and has been repeatedly reviewed by by the courts on appeal before the paperwork directing that the sentence imposed at the time of trial ever reaches the governor's desk. So much for the argument that Perry is signing the paperwork because of his desire to raise his poll numbers. He did so because the laws of the state of Texas and the provisions of the Texas Constitution require him to do so after the condemned has received all the due process of law he is entitled to -- which is why he signed that death warrant for Humberto Leal, an admitted rapist and murderer.

|| Greg, 08:23 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 08, 2011

Rangel Calls For Theocracy In America

I thought Democrats and other "progressives" believed that the intrusion of religion into politics -- and religious leaders into politics -- is a bad thing. What's more, I thought that they found the use of religious rhetoric to advance policy goals to be offensive to the "separation of church and state" in secular America.

So where is the critique of this crossing of church/state boundaries by a senior member of Congress?

Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel made an impassioned plea to religious leaders Friday, calling on them to lobby members of Congress and the Obama administration to remember the "lesser of my brothers and sisters" during this weekend's debt negotiations.

"What would Jesus do this weekend? Or Moses. Or Allah. Or anyone else," the New York congressman said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I don't want this book (debt negotiations) closed without the clergy having an opportunity to forcefully express themselves as well as I know they can do."

I'm awaiting Think Progress, Daily Kos, Democratic Underground and all the other screaming Mimis of the Left to launch an attack on Rangel for what he said here.

And waiting.

And waiting.

|| Greg, 05:40 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 07, 2011

A Counter-Intuitive Approach To The Debt Ceiling/Deficit Issue

Lets face it Republicans control only the House of Representatives. We do not control the Senate, and we do not control the White House. While we might like to avoid a significant increase of the debt ceiling, force a decrease in the deficit, and avoid a tax increase, we really lack the power to do so without cooperation from Obama and the Senate Democrats. Unless a solution acceptable to the Democrats is reached, the negative consequences will be ascribed by the media to GOP intransigence and extremism, not the spendthrift ways of Obama and the Democrats. And perhaps most distressing is the prospect of Obama and Geithner attempting to implement the so-called Fourteenth Amendment Solution, whereby they would use a spurious interpretation of the fourth clause of that amendment to grant the Executive Branch unlimitable borrowing authority because Senate Democrats will not vote to remove Obama and Geithner when they are impeached, effectively ratifying that approach and thereby taking powers conferred on Congress by Article I of the Constitution and placing them in the hands of the Executive Branch instead. We therefore need a creative solution to this situation and I think Ive got one.

Now not all of my approach is original. Indeed, it is inspired in part by William Teach of RightWingNews and Pirates Cove. It is also a reaction against the be prepared to shoot the hostage proposal of Erick Erickson, a guy I respect but whose approach in this case I find counterproductive. The approach is simple, really pass what I call the Hope & Change Act, and make 2012 a referendum on the two stark visions of America.

What would the Hope & Change Act do? Several things. First, it would include no budget or deficit cuts at all. After all, Obama and the Democrats tell us that America needs every bit of this spending, and who are we Republicans to contradict them? They tell us that this spending is good for the economy and that the current Administration is made up of the best and brightest that America has to offer, so who are we buck-toothed, in-bred, ignorant teabagging Taliban Republicans to take issue with the policy prescriptions they are making? So lets let them have their spending spree, and let the results demonstrate whether they were correct or not.

This will, of course, require that the Hope & Change Act include an increase in the debt ceiling to accommodate the ongoing spending spree an increase large enough to get us through July 1, 2013. I wont propose a number because Im not conversant in the exact dollar figure this would require. But since the suggestion has been bandied about that we need at least a $2 trillion dollar increase, and Obama is now apparently proposing an increase in the debt ceiling of $4 trillion, Im sure that it would be somewhere in that range. Whatever Barry wants, Barry gets this is the Hope & Change Act, after all.

Now here is the last element of the proposal we dont limit ourselves to just closing some tax loopholes like Eric Cantor and others have been suggesting. No, in the Hope & Change Act we need to give the Democrats what they have been asking for -- the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Scratch that we need to roll back all the entire tax code to the status quo at the start of the final full year of the Clinton Administration on January 1, 2000. Not just income taxes capital gains taxes, corporate taxes, etc. Democrats tell us that these higher tax rates will bring in more revenue to the government and help stimulate the economy. Now that means that the rich who got tax breaks will have their taxes go up but it also means that millions of Americans who pay no income taxes because of the Bush tax cuts for the rich will also begin paying them again. But we are told by the Left that our tax system was fairer before Bush messed with it, so we simply need to go back to what we had before.

Having passed the Hope & Change Act, Barack Obama and the Democrats will have their preferred budget and spending policies in place. Taxes will be higher, government spending will be higher, and government debt will be higher. They will have to run on those policies, because they are the policies that they have been advocating. And while the GOP will have had to acquiesce in the passage of the Hope & Change Act call it an act of bipartisanship, given that medias definition of bipartisanship is Republicans giving the Democrats everything that they want the leadership and the rank-and-file in Congress (as well as the presidential candidates) will make it clear that they oppose the policies contained in the Hope & Change Act, and will make these policies a campaign issue in 2012. The Republicans could then offer a starkly competing vision the tax-cutting, deficit-eliminating, debt reducing sort of vision put forth by Paul Ryan and others as the partys one and only issue while Obama, every House Democrat, and 23 Senate Democrat caucus members are up for reelection (yes, I know there will be retirements) and shackled to the provisions of the Hope & Change Act. It will, in effect, be a referendum that decides whether America wants responsible taxing and spending policies that put the republics financial house in order, or whether we wish to continue the descent from economic superpower to the Western Hemispheres equivalent of Greece and Portugal. It will be, to wax Goldwateresque, an election in which the voters are offered a choice, not an echo.

Drastic? You bet. Daring? Sure. But it might just be the nasty-tasting medicine that America needs right now.

|| Greg, 01:00 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Court Rules Foreign Organizations Have A Right To US Taxpayer Dollars Without US Strings

But that begs the question of the basis upon which they have a right to those taxpayer dollars in the first place.

The United States cannot force partners in its international fight against AIDS to denounce prostitution as a condition to get funding, a federal appeals court said Wednesday, citing the First Amendment.

The 2-to-1 ruling by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a lower court decision in favor of four health organizations. The groups had sued the government in 2005, saying their Constitutional rights were violated by a provision of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003.

"Compelling speech as a condition of receiving a government benefit cannot be squared with the First Amendment," the majority wrote. "The right to communicate freely on such matters of public concern lies at the heart of the First Amendment."

The solution is therefore obvious end the program under which the money is being distributed in the first place. After all, if the United States of America cannot impose conditions for receiving the money or limit the groups receiving it to those who act in concert with American policies, then it really is not appropriate for the United States of America to be giving out that money in the first place.

|| Greg, 12:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Shouldnt This Be The Case?

After all, an illegal alien is an illegal alien is an illegal alien. It really doesnt matter how they got caught they should be subject to deportation. And that means even if the underlying legal case that initially brought their illegal status to the attention of immigration authorities should happen to be dismissed, they should still be subject to deportation.

One early evening in May, a Boston police officer arrested Lizandra DeMoura for traffic violations and driving without a license. In another city, she might have been booked and released for a court hearing. But in Boston, the 18-year-old was jailed overnight, taken to court, and handed over to federal immigration agents, who hauled her away in chains.

Now she is facing deportation to Brazil.

I felt like an animal, DeMoura, who has lived here since she was a child, said in a recent interview in her lawyers office in Boston, wearing an electronic monitoring device around her ankle.

No, Lizandra, you are not an animal. You are, however, a lawbreaker. You are also not an American, and have no right to remain in this country.
Go to Brazil. Go directly to Brazil. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

And most importantly, do not continue to violate the laws of the United States by living here illegally.

|| Greg, 12:53 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On The Leal Case

The facts are beyond dispute. Humberto Leal, an illegal alien who had been in the United States since he was 2-years-old, abducted, raped and murdered 16-year-old Adria Sauceda, an intoxicated teenager who had already been repeatedly assaulted by multiple men at a backyard party. Leal "raped her some more before finally ending her misery by crushing in her skull with a 35 lb chunk of asphalt" and then left her brutalized body on the side of the road with a broken stick approximately 14 to 16 inches long with a screw at the end of it protruding from her vagina. It is difficult for anyone to argue that, if one concedes the propriety of the death penalty, that an offence such as this one would merit any other form of punishment.

Leal is set to be executed by the state of Texas this evening in retribution for his horrific crime. When that happens, the world will be a cleaner place.

However, there are those who are seeking to stop this execution including the federal government under the direction of Barack Hussein Obama.

The execution of a Mexican national on U.S. ground scheduled for Thursday has become something of an international brouhaha.

President Obama, the State Department and Mexico, have all asked Texas for a last-minute reprieve of Humberto Leal, 38, who was convicted in 1995 in the brutal raping and murder of a teenage girl. Citing the U.N.-enforced 1963 Vienna Treaty, the officials believe Leal could have altered his penalty had he been given the chance.

The treaty requires foreign nationals who are arrested in foreign countries the right to access their consulates. Texas police would have been required to inform Leal that he has the legal right to contact the Mexican consular, which could have offered him legal advice.

A couple points:

1) There has been no evidence produced that Texas authorities DENIED Leal access to consular officials. Rather, they did not know that he was a Mexican citizen when he was initially arrested and therefore did not know to inform him of the treaty rights. Is it the position of the Obama Administration, which is suing states for having cops make inquiries about citizenship and immigration status, that cops must now make inquiries about citizenship and immigration status to comply with the treaty?

2) Based upon the totality of the appellate record, multiple courts have found that his trial and conviction complied in all regards with the requirements of the US and Texas Constitutions. There is therefore no evidence that this technical error harmed him (as has already been determined by a federal court), and no basis for either a new trial or a commutation of his sentence to something other than death. The hearing that is now being demanded is, therefore, utterly superfluous because he has already one (as noted in the link in the last sentence) and granting him an additional review to him and other foreigners (including illegal aliens) has the effect of GIVING MORE LEGAL RIGHTS TO THEM THAN TO AMERICAN CITIZENS.

3) The 2008 Supreme Court precedent that allows this execution to go forward still holds, and the buffoon in the White House has produced absolutely no argument regarding substantive changes in the facts or the law hat would result in the high court repudiating that earlier precedent. At best, the Obama Regime is arguing that the introduction of legislation in the US Senate legislation which is by no means certain of being enacted into law ought to have the same impact as a law enacted under the procedures laid out in the US Constitution. Unfortunately for the professor of constitutional law, that line of reasoning is a constitutional non-starter.

In other words, there is no reason for Texas not to proceed with this execution. Hook up the IV and let 'er DRIP!

|| Greg, 12:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Lesson For Dealing With Robbers

Wait until they have done more than merely trespass.

An Onalaska man who shot and killed a man who he thought was going to rob him will spend more than five years in prison.

Lewis County Judge Nelson Hunt sentenced Ronald Brady to the maximum possible sentence, 63 months.

A jury found Brady guilty of manslaughter last month.

* * *

Brady shot and killed Thomas McKenzie in the middle of the night April 19, 2010.

Police said McKenzie and his wife came to rob the house.

Brady had been robbed repeatedly prior to the shooting.

That night he waited in his garage with a loaded rifle and when the McKenzies came up his driveway, Brady began shooting.

He shot at their car first, and when the couple pointed flashlights at Brady, he shot and killed McKenzie.

Sorry, folks, but you dont preemptively start shooting. Wait until they are kicking in the door or trying to cart off items from you yard.

Then give them both barrels.

|| Greg, 10:06 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Rhymes With Runt

I hate the word -- it is a vulgar, contemptuous word. But unfortunately it is the word that best fits
this over-privileged no-talent celebrity.

Supermodel Kate Moss tried to stop military planes bound for Afghanistan from flying over her wedding ceremony and reception, The Sun reported Thursday.

Moss, 37 -- who is now honeymooning on a $16 million superyacht -- wanted to get married without the drone of jets from the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Brize Norton base overhead.

She asked chiefs at the base near her Little Faringdon, central England, home to divert or postpone their flights -- but was politely refused.

A military source said, "RAF Brize Norton is a fully operational wartime air base. Flights from the base carry troops and vital equipment directly to Afghanistan."

The source added, "These flights are absolutely crucial. The idea that the top military brass would put these flights on hold or change their routes just to give a celeb some peace on their wedding day is absolutely inconceivable. Kate should consider herself lucky she just got a polite refusal."

Nope still cant come up with a better word to describe her.

|| Greg, 07:05 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama To Republicans -- "Do As I Say, Not As I Do"


And that the MSM won't call this clown out on his hypocrisy is amazing.

President Obama, yesterday: Ive asked leaders of both parties and both houses of Congress to come here to the White House on Thursday so we can build on the work thats already been done and drive towards a final agreement.  Its my hope that everybody is going to leave their ultimatums at the door, that well all leave our political rhetoric at the door.

President Obama, today: The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners, for oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars because the price of gasoline has gone up so high.

Maybe it is time for Obama to quit sodomizing the truth, the Constitution, and the English language.

H/T Doug Ross

|| Greg, 04:45 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (256) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 05, 2011

Hitchens On The Gaza Pirate Flotilla

Christopher Hitchens once again shows his genius as he neatly demonstrates why this effort is such a morally bankrupt crock.

The little boats cannot make much difference to the welfare of Gaza either way, since the materials being shipped are in such negligible quantity. The chief significance of the enterprise is therefore symbolic. And the symbolism, when examined even cursorily, doesn't seem too adorable. The intended beneficiary of the stunt is a ruling group with close ties to two of the most retrograde dictatorships in the Middle East, each of which has recently been up to its elbows in the blood of its own civilians. The same group also manages to maintain warm relations with, or at the very least to make cordial remarks about, both Hezbollah and al-Qaida. Meanwhile, a document that was once accurately described as a "warrant for genocide" forms part of the declared political platform of the aforesaid group. There is something about this that fails to pass a smell test.

But if you ignore all those pesky little facts that Hitchens points out, the efforts of these pirates to break Israel's blockade of Gaza seems rather noble. And we all know that the average "progressive" is quite adept at ignoring fact when they get in the way of their ideological predilection to support terror, oppression, and violence against the wrong sort of people.

|| Greg, 08:25 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Tennessee's Obscene Bumper Sticker Law

Looks like the folks in Tennessee have a statute on their hands that is just waiting for a constitutional challenge, now that it is has been amended and brought to the attention of the wider public.

Starting Friday [July 1], Tennessee drivers caught with obscene or patently offensive bumper stickers, window signs or other markings on their vehicle visible to other drivers face an automatic $50 fine.

Tennessee code 55-8-187 had allowed judges to decide on a fine from $2 to $50 based on their opinion.

Democratic State Representative Gary Moore, of Joelton, however, co-sponsored a House bill to stiffen the fine after he got several angry calls from constituents.

On two different instances they had their children in the car with them and they pulled up on a vehicle that had an obscene bumper sticker, he said. I think it will make drivers a little more aware that there is a law out there.

The language of the statute does say that the bumper sticker has to be "obscene and patently offensive" in order to be punished under the law. That means that unless it appeals to the prurient interest, depicts or describes sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, the bumper sticker is protected -- at least if the standards for determining obscenity set by the US Supreme Court are applied to the vehicular display.

Thus a bumper sticker that says "F*ck Obama" could not be subject to fine (it arguably has serious political value -- see Cohen v. California), nor could the expression of religious sentiments opposed by the bulk of the community be banned. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine any sort of commonly available bumper sticker that this statute would constitutionally permit prohibit (ED. NOTE -- sorry I missed that error). And I somehow doubt that this statute would result in a ban of the ubiquitous stickers of the cartoon character Calvin urinating or defecating on a disfavored item -- after all, I'm unaware of such things stimulating the prurient interest of any normal individual.

And therein lies the problem. This statute does not seek to ban obscenity -- after all, I'm certain Tennessee already has a statute that does that. More likely, it seeks to ban profanity -- and as the courts have ruled time and again, that is generally beyond the scope of government power due to the First Amendment. But that is why this particular statute is troublesome -- it clearly is an effort to discourage speech that is constitutionally protected. So while the statute may pass constitutional muster as written, its most likely application will not be.

H/T Legal Insurrection

|| Greg, 08:07 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 04, 2011

Gaza Flotilla Pirates Concede Effort Not About Humanitarian Aid

After all, if it were really about getting "much needed humanitarian supplies" to the people of Gaza, then they would have jumped at this offer to guarantee that their cargo reached the intended recipients.

Organizers of the flotilla seeking to break Israels blockade over the Gaza Strip on Sunday rejected an offer by Athens to allow Greek Navy ships to transfer the humanitarian aid they had planned to bring with them to Gaza on their behalf.

Of course, the Greeks would have respected the blockade, entered the Israeli port designated for cargo bound for Gaza, and allowed for that cargo to be inspected. Heck, the Greeks probably would have inspected the cargo -- wonder what the flotilla pirates were worried would turn up?

Of course, this isn't about "humanitarian aid". After all, not only does Israel allow such supplies to be shipped in to Gaza through Israel, Egypt opened its border with Gaza over a month ago. It is about engaging in an act of war to break a lawful blockade designed to stop illegal trafficking in arms and assistance to terrorist organizations intent upon keeping up their murderous campaign against the Jews of Israel. Because after all, only by bringing such supplies directly into a Hamas-controlled port can it be certain that Hamas and its affiliates will have an unrestricted supply of armaments flowing freely into their hands.

|| Greg, 04:17 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

How Weak Are Texas Democrats?

Even in a year with a president of their own party seeking reelection, folks talk about needing to run a celebrity candidate like Tommy Lee Jones to have any chance of winning an open US Senate seat.

Geoff Berg has been at the head of the movement, and he notes that US Marshal Sam Gerard Jones hasn't responded so far to any of the previous public entreaties. TLJ appears to be consumed at the moment with Men in Black 3, currently filming in New York but experiencing severe production delays and associated cost overruns. That movie, if it is on time, will reach theaters on Memorial Day weekend 2012. Which is just about perfect timing for a big movie star running for the United States Senate.

Help us, Agent K. You're our only hope.

And they are desperate. The has-been party hack from a prominent Democrat family (John Sharp) doesn't generate much traction, and many Democrats just can't stomach the notion of supporting a retired general whose claim to fame is implementing the policies of George W. Bush in Iraq, even if he is Hispanic (Ricardo Sanchez). The only problem is that their celebrity candidate hasn't indicated any interest in actually running for the office. And given the probability that Texas will see it's governor on the national ticket (my guess is that Rick Perry will get the nod for VP in 2012), Tommy Lee Jones is doubtless smart enough to realize that he has better things to do with his time than make a fruitless run for a public office that he likely doesn't want anyway.

|| Greg, 02:01 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Outsourcing Trend Reverse?

This incident certainly ought to make folks question whether moving jobs overseas is, in the long run, a permanent solution to cutting costs. Now this is a UK example, but could we see the same happen here?

Just a few years ago, British companies were falling over themselves to slash costs by outsourcing call centre work to Third World countries with cheap labour.

But now, it seems, the return journey has begun with the news that one firm finds Bombay too expensive and is upping sticks - to Burnley.

New Call Telecom, which competes with BT and Sky to offer home telephone services, broadband and low-cost international calls, is opening a call centre in Lancashire after being attracted by low commercial rents and cheap labour costs.

What was also found was that the UK operations were more efficient than the Indian ones, which saved the company money as well.

Does anyone know of similar occurrences in this country?

|| Greg, 01:26 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Epic Fail In Louisiana

I'll concede right up front that I am a big fan of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and would love to see him occupying the Oval Office one day. But I was a little bit concerned over the efforts of Louisiana Democrats to recall him.

I guess I shouldn't have been.

An effort started six months ago to recall Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal has fizzled, but the Opelousas man behind the petition will continue trying to oust the governor by running against him this fall.

Ron Ceasar would have needed to gather more than 908,000 verified signatures by early next week to get a recall election against Jindal. Fewer than five dozen have been registered with the Louisiana secretary of states office.

We would need all of them by the deadline set. We have only 55 at present, and the deadline is July 5th, Sailor Jackson, a spokesman for Secretary of State Tom Schedler, said Friday.

Got that -- their statewide recall effort has netted a whole 55 valid signatures. And while Ceasar claims to have more than were filed, he acknowledges he and his supporters have come nowhere near the required signatures to bring about a recall.

Short by over 907,000 signatures? Definitely an EPIC FAIL!

|| Greg, 01:14 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Oh, Dear -- The New Textbooks May Be Late

I'll concede it isn't the optimal situation, but I do believe that this reaction by HISD's union boss is a bit overblown.

"There goes the first two weeks of school," Houston Federation of Teachers president Gayle Fallon said. "So much for us maximizing every moment."

Gayle, a competent teacher can teach his or her class without relying exclusively on the textbook -- especially when that teacher is laying out the basics at the start of the school year, which often includes reviewing material the students have previously learned in earlier grades. For that matter, the old textbooks will still be available for those couple of weeks, so it isn't like there are no resources available for the less competent members of your union who don't know their subject matter well enough to teach it without relying exclusively on a textbook.

|| Greg, 09:44 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Independence Day + 235

All too often, John Adams is overlooked by those who wish to make American independence a function of the military skills of George Washington and the wordcraft of Thomas Jefferson. Many overlook the contribution of John Adams, who was the voice of independence in the Second Continental Congress, and whose advocacy of that cause was so critical in persuading the assembled representatives of the thirteen colonies to declare themselves a separate nation free of Great Britain's yoke.

The musical 1776 includes this number, in which John Adams (played here by William Daniels), on the brink of despair, expresses his vision of the future.

And that vision of Americans celebrating the gift of independence is one truly expressed by Adams in his own writings.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Adams, of course, thought that the second day of July, when the Second Continental Congress voted for independence would be the date Americans would commemorate, rather than the date on which Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was adopted by the body, -- but his vision of celebration by Americans has been seen to be correct.

We live in a time of great difficulty and frustration, a time in which some may be moved to despair of America;'s future. Yet out of the past, John Adams asks us if we share the vision he had of a great and free nation. Can we, with Adams' unquenchable optimism about the future of our nation, say with him that "through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory"? Do we still see what John Adams saw two hundred and thirty-five years ago?

|| Greg, 08:26 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 02, 2011

Halperin Racist For Anti-Obama Comment?

I'll be honest -- I've had multiple reactions to Mark Halperin's unfortunate choice of words regarding Barack Obama during MSNBC's Morning Joe the other day.

After all, I'd argue that going on television and saying that the president (and I mean any president, not just this one) was being "a dick" does, at a minimum, bump up against the line of acceptability in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

Notice, I'm not arguing it is unacceptable to make such a comment about a politician (even a president) in the privacy of one's home, in a conversation with a friend, or even on the internet. It's just that saying it in the broadcast media (even on cable, and even on a ratings-challenged network like MSNBC) is different. I mean, after getting past my initial reaction to Halperin's comment, I found myself thinking something similar to that of Howie over at The Jawa Report -- that the word describes Obama on most days.

Now let's be honest -- that mild profanity of the schoolyard variety pales in comparison to what MSNBC deemed acceptable to say about George W. Bush during his administration, and, as was noted by Rush Limbaugh, what is considered fair game when directed at Republicans today. Indeed, Halperin's comment probably wouldn't have gotten an apology (much less an indefinite suspension) if it had been directed at Bush. But then again, nobody in the Bush administration would have been so thin-skinned as to actually call MSNBC to complain and demand action be taken.

Heck, if you want proof of the double standard, just consider the use of the term "teabagger" -- with it's acknowledged reference to a sex act -- on MSNBC and other networks. That bit of profanity is just fine.

But I'd actually been surprised about what I had not seen said about Halperin's comment. Until this morning. Yeah, that's right -- Halperin's anti-Obama comment was RAAAAACIST!

Because, as the narrative goes, opposition to Obama by white folks is at its heart all about race and keeping the black man in his place. Expect to hear more of the same as Obama's polling numbers continue to slide and his chances of reelection get even slimmer. Expect the argument from the blogger cited in the paragraph above to go mainstream as the race card becomes Barack Obama's last option for electoral salvation.

|| Greg, 07:40 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 01, 2011

Hey Barry -- About Those Corporate Jets

Let's set aside the fact that your non-stimulating "stimulus" bill included tax breaks for corporations buying those planes.

While we're at it, let's ignore the fact that Republicans voted overwhelmingly against the non-stimulating "stimulus" bill while the Democrats voted for it, meaning that the GOP is not responsible for the existence of that particular provision.

No, let's just consider this.


Dude! Are you sure that you are the guy to talk about this subject?


After all, we don't see you flying coach -- and the American People are directly paying YOUR aircraft budget. Just saying.

Next thing I know you'll be trying to set the fuel efficiency standard for cars at 56 MPG while riding around in the back of a limo that gets 7 MPG.


Oh, my bad -- I'm sure that someone will be by here shortly to shout me down as a RAAAAACIST! After all, there couldn't possibly be any other reason to criticize you, could there? I mean, we certainly couldn't expect you to LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

|| Greg, 02:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Survey Shows Right-To-Work States Have Better Workforces than Union-Slave States

Remember how not long ago I noted the claims of a labor lawyer that workers in right-to-work states are "less-skilled, lower-quality" and "poorly educated"? Well, it seems that the only thing wrong with his argument is that the evidence shows something else entirely!

When it comes to Americas Top States for Business 2011, when it comes to a quality workforce, 18 out of the top 20 states are Right-to-Work states. Moreover, all 22 Right-to-Work states are in the top 25 states for having the best workforces.

CNBC defines its criteria as this:

Many states point with great pride to the quality and availability of their workers, as well as government-sponsored programs to train them. We rated states based on the education level of their workforce, as well as the numbers of available workers. We also considered union membership. While organized labor contends that a union workforce is a quality workforce, that argument, more often than not, doesnt resonate with business. We also looked at the relative success of each states worker training programs in placing their participants in jobs.

And it isn't just the quality of the workforce that correlates to right-to-work status. All five of the top-ranked states are right-to-work states, with only three union-slave states make it into the top ten. That ought to tell folks something right there. Especially since the Obama Regime is doing every thing in its power to put every worker in America under the control of the union bosses -- whether they want to belong to a union or not.

|| Greg, 01:56 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Debt Ceiling And The Fourteenth Amendment

Well, the Democrats are actually paying attention to the Constitution for once, trying to use it to argue that the entire notion of a debt ceiling is unconstitutional and that the government actually has unlimited borrowing power that cannot be checked. The argument has been put forward by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, and taken up by others on the Left as Barack Obama continues to indicate his intransigent opposition to budget cuts and his hopeless infatuation with tax increases.

At a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, President Obama was asked whether he believed that the debt ceiling was constitutional or whether the 14th Amendment required the government to meet all of its obligations regardless of the debt-limit statute.

Obama dodged the question. "I'm not a Supreme Court Justice, so I'm not going to put my constitutional law professor hat on here," he said about the debt ceiling and a question on the war in Libya.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, however, is less afraid of wearing that hat. At a Politico Playbook breakfast on May 25, Geithner was asked by host Mike Allen about the negotiations over default and the debt ceiling.

"I think there are some people who are pretending not to understand it, who think there's leverage for them in threatening a default," Geithner said. "I don't understand it as a negotiating position. I mean really think about it, you're going to say that-- can I read you the 14th amendment?"

Now let's look at the relevant portion of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Now the whole Fourteenth Amendment argument is an interesting one, but I don't think it works (Professor Balkin's view of the matter not withstanding). After all, nobody would be questioning the validity of the debt or the fact that it is owed. Indeed, the US government would continue to acknowledge the obligation to pay. What would be at issue would be the ability to pay as scheduled due to a crisis of liquidity.

Of course, as you point out, the ability to pay those debts ON TIME would still exist -- as you point out, that would simply require cutting from that portion of the government spending not dedicated to serving the debt.

Now there are two clearly constitutional options here:

There is, of course, a third option, one that is more contentious from a constitutional point of view -- Obama and Geithner keep borrowing in defiance of the debt ceiling. That will result in two things:

Ultimately, the ball is in the Democrats' court. They can act like responsible grown-ups and begin making the cuts that are necessary to preserve our nation's long-term financial solvency -- or they can argue that there is no limit to what the government can borrow and that the Executive Branch has the authority under the Constitution to take the United States deeper into debt than Congress has authorized. And that, my friends, undoes a key element of the separations of powers designed by those who wrote the Constitution in 1787.

UPDATE -- Here's a great article that explains this point clearly, concisely, and with reference to the entire Constitution.

|| Greg, 01:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (13) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are the full results of this week's exercise in blogging excellence:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

congratulations to the winners, and to all the participants. Now get reading folks -- there is great stuff here that you really need to see.

|| Greg, 05:42 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
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NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
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